The Italian’s representative believes conditions did his client no favours as the veteran came under fire for his poor showing against the Red Devils
Gianluigi Buffon’s agent has blamed the “wet pitch” for the goalkeeper’s poor performance as Paris Saint-Germain were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester United.
PSG were dumped out of Europe’s premier club competition at the last 16 stage on away goals after losing to the Red Devils 3-1 at Parc des Princes despite recording a comfortable 2-0 win at Old Trafford and their visitors missing 10 first-team players.
Buffon was at fault for United’s second goal, fumbling Marcus Rashford’s speculative long-range effort into the path of Romelu Lukaku, who tapped the ball in for his second, before being unable to save the England international’s last-minute penalty despite diving the right way.
And the Italian’s agent, Silvano Martina, has defended his client in the face of widespread criticism, blaming the pitch conditions for the veteran goalkeeper’s uncharacteristic error.
“There is always a lot [of criticism], especially in Italy. For sure the wet pitch didn’t help him,” Martina said to CalcioMercato.
“Sometimes there is nobody close to the goal, this time there was Lukaku ready to score. I am sure Gigi has forgotten it already.”
PSG’s early exit from the Champions League against a depleted Man Utd side will be a great source of frustration for the club’s owners and for Buffon personally, who have both been denied in their quests to lift the coveted trophy.
Martina also shared his thoughts on the controversially-awarded penalty that Rashford converted after a lengthy VAR review deemed Diogo Dalot’s speculative shot was blocked by Presnel Kimpembe’s arm.
“I am in Milan so I don’t know what really happened last night. I saw the game and I can say that everything went wrong for PSG. That’s football. I think it’s the first time that a team qualifies after losing 2-0 at home.
“There is VAR now. I don’t think this kind of penalties should ever be given but there are rules and there was a handball. I mean, that shot was not going to end up in goal, just like the Porto striker wasn’t going to reach the ball [in the other match against Roma].
He remained tight-lipped, however, when asked about a potential extension of Buffon’s terms in France, with the 41-year-old’s deal set to expire at the end of the season.
“I am a humble agent, I don’t expect anything. For sure, [PSG] are not happy.
“I speak with the club and I don’t follow these rumours. Let the time pass by, then we’ll take a decision.”
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