Gianluigi Buffon has come to Gianluigi Donnarumma's defense in the wake of criticism leveled at him after PSG’s Champions League exit against Real Madrid.
The Italian goalkeeper made the mistake of gifting Karim Benzema his first goal of the night. The French striker went on to add two more goals to help the Galacticos
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport (via Mundo Deportivo), the legendary goalkeeper insisted that Donnarumma remained a top-quality keeper despite his mistake, saying:
"In Europe they never point out a foul like that. In Italy , with VAR, maybe yes. As a goalkeeper I would have also been angry because Benzema bothers him a bit, but calling a foul like that would have also made Madrid angry."
"If Gigio had thought clearly or had that mischief staying on the ground after contact, he would have gotten something. We have seen so many smartasses like that... He was honest, getting up immediately sent a clear message to the referee: irrelevant contact."
Buffon also said:
"It was a mistake, we all make them. His value has not changed. These types of mistakes help a lot, they are part of growth and I am sure it will not be a problem for his future, he is very strong. With Courtois and Neuer he is one of the three best goalkeepers in the world."
Donnarumma will hope to put the disappointing events of the night behind him as quickly as possible and make amends to the team with future performances. PSG will now work towards retaining their Ligue 1 crown at the end of the season, with the French giants competing on the domestic front now.
Real Madrid's Benzema continues brilliance in front of goal with hat-trick against PSG
There's little doubt that the hero of Madrid is Karim Benzema. Scoring a stunning hat-trick to singlehandedly kick PSG out of the Champions League, the Frenchman's tally for Los Blancos is now 309 goals. This means he has surpassed Alfredo di Stefano's goalscoring record of 308 goals for Real Madrid.
He has also overtaken Raul Gonzalez's 66 UCL goals, having scored eight goals this season alone - Benzema's personal best. Currently with 30 goals this season, two shy of his best record per season, the French star has become Santiago Bernabeu's key marksman.
His inclusion in the final stages of the Ballon d'Or were hardly a surprise, and he has only continued to improve this year. With PSG out of the Champions League, Benzema looks set to guide Real Madrid to a trophy that has eluded them since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club in 2018.