Cristiano Ronaldo & Gianluigi Buffon

Gigi Buffon’s classy tribute to Ronaldo and Real Madrid following Juventus loss

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has this evening lavished praise on both Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid, after the Bianconeri were handed a morale-draining 3-0 loss at home to the Spanish champions in the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Matchup

Last season’s Champions League finalists went head to head in Turin, with hosts Juve having come into proceedings on the back of a crucial 3-1 victory over AC Milan in Serie A at the weekend.

Real, meanwhile, rested several stars for their La Liga meeting with Las Palmas on Saturday, though Zinedine Zidane’s men nevertheless emerged with a comfortable 3-0 win.

0-1

While a tight affair was predicted by many at the Allianz Stadium, the tie was blown wide open with just 3 minutes on the clock, as all-time Champions League top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo added yet another strike to his frankly-ridiculous tally in Europe’s top-tier competition:

Stunning

Juventus grew into proceedings as the half wore on, with Gonzalo Higuain and Giorgio Chiellini both having had huge chances to level things up, but it was Ronaldo’s goal that separated the sides at the interval.

The second-half saw Paulo Dybala also go within inches of equalizing with a deflected free-kick, before Cristiano Ronaldo once again stepped up to produce one of the greatest goals in Champions League history.

Watch, and enjoy, below:

0-3

Marcelo went on to put the tie firmly to bed a short time after Ronaldo’s second, getting on the end of a gorgeous, flowing Real move to dink a perfect finish over Gianluigi Buffon.

‘Objectively stronger’

In the aftermath of tonight’s result, much of the talk, unsurprisingly, has surrounded the incredible showing, and career, of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking in a post-match interview with Mediaset Premium, Gianluigi Buffon was questioned on his side’s nemesis in the Champions League over recent seasons, with Buffon, in typically classy fashion, musing:

‘We saw what Ronaldo is and always has been, a player of an extraordinary level that, along with Leo Messi, is achieving the biggest heights.’

‘This means their value is to be compared to Maradona and Pele for the way they ultimately are able to decide the matches and trophies won by their teams.’

On the mistakes on the part of his side for the first and second goals scored by Real, Buffon expressed his disappointment, but was also quick to point to the fact that ‘they are objectively stronger’:

‘Mistakes can happen, you are playing against incredible champions and they force you into being less precise than usual. That’s because you are facing the best and if we are talking about people who score 500 goals, there’s a reason for that.’

‘I feel great regret and disappointment, because we probably won’t be able to go forward in the tournament and that is a regret, a big regret, but it’s also true that when you meet certain opponents, you must have a clear enough head to recognise they are objectively stronger.’

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