"Maybe I could even end my career with a headbutt like Zidane did", said Gianluigi Buffon before Wednesday night's Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Real Madrid. The praise being expressed toward him would not have even registered; he did not get to enjoy a special moment.
"When Gigi spoke about the referee I couldn't understand him, honestly", the former Italy global said on Sky Sport Italia . Mehdi Benatia's challenge on Lucas Vazquez, from behind, was a clumsy attempt to stop the Spaniard finishing from five yards.
"Before being a Juventino, I am an Italian, and I really cared about Italian football doing well".
In many ways, Michael Oliver's decision is the flawless example of why refereeing is so hard.
Premier League referee Oliver, 33, had no hesitation with his decision and showed huge character to give such a monumental spot kick.
Allegri and Buffon standing firm on their criticism is controversial given the negative attention Oliver has received since. Oliver made a decision in a high pressure moment, just as Benatia did moments before and just as countless players and referees do every day.
"I am definitely sorry about that but I also know that I wasn't dealing with a person with a lot of awareness of feelings otherwise he wouldn't have made two big mistakes in the space of two minutes".
'That was a disgraceful reaction but I won't have to listen to it again because that's my last game, I'm out of here, ' he announced, before banging the desk and walking out of the press conference, his immediate and formal departure announced by the club shortly afterwards. The reaction is understandable, the passion, the desire to win and the possibility of a crushing defeat after giving everything you have is something that anyone who has experienced football can relate too.
By refusing to walk back his previous comments, Buffon has missed a chance to set the kind of example Conn is hoping for.
Buffon commented "Clearly you can not have a heart in your chest, but a garbage bin". The legendary goalkeeper wasn't done there, though, continuing to criticise the referee after the match. Seeing Roma achieve that incredible comeback, I was so passionately cheering them on.
'You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive... but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon.
"I understand Buffon, I would've gone insane".
Buffon has played 635 times in Italy's top flight, but with seven games left this season he won't beat Maldini's record of 647.
Juve players furiously protested the decision, with goalkeeper Buffon receiving a red card, and the 40-year-old pulled no punches in his assessment of the official.