The penalty decision from referee Michael Oliver in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal has dominated headlines across Europe since Wednesday night, but the debate is far from over. Former referees, players and the press have all chimed in with their arguments but the fiercest exchange has been between the players. Although Cristiano Ronaldo shared a warm embrace with Gianluigi Buffon in the mixed area after the game, he believes the penalty was correct. Below are the opinions of the involved parties:
Honestly I've seen and played in matches -- you can never whistle for a penalty like that in the 93rd minute. If there is contact it is with my thigh and that is part of football. There is never the intention to foul him or to push him. Last year they f**** Bayern Munich on two or three goals that were offside if I'm not mistaken. It's always the same story that repeats itself. It's a very big team Real, it's not for nothing that they have won so much, I don't think they need any extra help. Everyone knows that this match had to go into extra-time and the best team would have won.
I do not understand why they protest against the penalty. If he did not commit the foul, Lucas would have scored. The pulse increased, but I calmed down, and I knew I'd be decisive. During the game, Benatia and the rest of them had already been kicking us from behind. But we are happy and we are in the semifinals. This was a game where we have suffered tremendously, it has to be a lesson to learn that in football, nothing is ever guaranteed and you have to fight to the end. Step by step, now we're into the semifinals.
It shouldn't be surprising, Bayern Munich went through it last year and this was Juve's turn. Between the first leg and this one, just about everything happened. It's laughable that the Italian refereeing designator said things are going well in the Champions League. Nobody thought we could turn it around, but we believed and it'll help us for the next Champions League campaigns. It'll be an objective for the future.
If there is a feeling which prevails, it's pride. The lads were marvellous and it was moving; we start again from here, with our heads high, very high. Games like these are great moments against the biggest clubs in the world. We want to be the best. Sometimes things go for you, and other times they don't. We need to get over this hard moment and move forwards. We showed that Juve as a side and club have grown a lot in the last years. It's a pity because we proved that the result in Turin was not fair, but unfortunately it was not enough.
What they said
He [Buffon] did not deserve that. But we cannot change it. It will not take away everything he has done, even if it's a shame to end his Champions League career this way."
-- ZINEDINE ZIDANE
When Gigi spoke about the referee I couldn't understand him, honestly. I don't understand why he talked about the previous fixture. In football you analyse the present. I understand it's a frustrating situation but I think he will think about what he said and possibly say different words in a few days.
-- ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO
We gave everything we had tonight and showed a great fight... But football is not always fair. We have to accept that. Nevertheless we can leave the Champions League with our heads held high. Proud to be part of this team. Forza Juve!
-- SAMI KHEDIRA
We have stood up and we have given everything to win. The penalty is very clear. It wasn't going to happen to us like it happened to Barcelona because we are Real Madrid... that was a good one, huh?
Segio Ramos said the penalty was 'claro' [clear] and I told him: "Not so claro, let's say grey".
-- MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI.