Champions League

Beckenbauer mocks Buffon

2013-04-03 16:59
Franz Beckenbauer (AFP)

Munich - Football legend Franz Beckenbauer has branded veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon "a pensioner" for failing to stop an early goal in their Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich.

Bayern needed just 26 seconds to take the lead after David Alaba's left-footed thunderbolt beat Buffon from 35m out and Beckenbauer, an ex-Bayern captain, coach and president, said the Italian showed his age.

"It felt like Alaba fired from miles out and made Buffon look like a pensioner," Beckenbauer, 67, told German SkySports as Bayern won the quarter-final, first leg 2-0 in Munich on Tuesday.

"He really should have saved that, maybe he didn't think Alaba was going to hit it from there."

Buffon admitted he had been wrong-footed by Alaba's shot, which took a slight deflection off Juventus' Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal.

"For the first goal, Vidal slightly deflected Alaba's shot and sent me the wrong way," said the 35-year-old.

"I'd already taken one step to the right and couldn't recover in time to go the other way.

But Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said he has some sympathy for Buffon's blunder.

"Buffon is a superb ‘keeper," said the Germany star.

"It was a really difficult one for him when you look at the flight of the ball. I know how Alaba shoots and they're dangerous balls to deal with."

Bayern face Juventus in the return leg in Turin next Wednesday with a clear advantage after Germany's Thomas Mueller added their second goal on 63 minutes, but midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger says it may not be enough.

"My gut feeling is that we should have scored a third goal, we had our chances," said Schweinsteiger.

"Everyone knows it's not easy to play in Turin, it's a good starting point, but we're not in the semi-finals yet."

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