Nicola Rizzoli Champions League final referee 2013-2014

Nicola Rizzoli is appointed as Champions League final referee. He’ll officiate the match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich Saturday 25th of May at Wembley.

Wembley stadium, venue of the 2012/2013 Champions League Final.

Wembley stadium, venue of the 2012/2013 Champions League Final.

Nicola Rizzoli will be assisted by Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani.

On “The fourth official will be Damir Skomina from Slovenia and the two additional assistant referees, Gianluca Rocchi and Paolo Tagliavento, are from Italy. An Italian reserve assistant referee – Gianluca Cariolato – completes the refereeing team lineup.” Rizzoli after getting the appointment: “I feel very proud of getting appointed for the CL final.”

Nicola Rizzoli always wants to know how football players behave during the matches – even when he doesn’t have to officiate the teams immediately. “I had already spoken to some German colleagues before it was known who would be refereeing the final, because I like to get information when I meet other officials”, he says on “Of course, today we are lucky to be able to get all the information we want off the internet, so the teams have been studied and analysed.”

Rizzoli is very passionate about Wembley: “You breathe the history and the passion, just pure football. That is what I hope to feel when I’m in the dressing room and when we come out of the tunnel.”

This blog already tried to guess the Champions League final referee. I predicted Nicola Rizzoli or Cuneyt Cakir to get appointed for the Champions League final.

Last 5 Champions League final referees

  • 2011/2012: Pedro Proença
  • 2010/2011: Viktor Kassai
  • 2009/2010: Howard Webb
  • 2008/2009: Massimo Busacca
  • 2007/2008: Lubos Michel

Guessing Champions League final referee 2012/2013

Guessing the Champions League final referee: who will officiate this European top match? A prediction, based on previous tournaments.

Wembley stadium, venue of the 2012/2013 Champions League Final.

Wembley stadium, venue of the 2012/2013 Champions League Final.

Last few years Martin from blog “Law 5 – The Referee” made good predictions about the CL final, but he stopped with his refereeing blog. So I thought, why not make my own prediction on who will officiate the CL final between Bayern Munich and Dortmund at Wembley.

Reasons te eliminate referees for getting the final:

  • The referee should be on Uefa’s Elite List. That leaves us with 22 referees who are available. Check Uefa’s international referee lists.
  • Uefa has never appointed a referee who also officiated during a semi-final. Bjorn Kuipers, Viktor Kassai, Damir Skomina and Howard Webb got these matches so they will not be available for the final.
  • UPDATE: Kuipers also got appointed for the Europa League final, so he won’t be available for the CL final at all.
  • No German referee will officiate the match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. It sounds like a possibility at first glance, but what you might not know is that Felix Brych and Wolfgang Stark are both from the Munich area and do not officiate Bayern Munich in German Bundesliga.
  • Some referees just did not get enough matches during this Champions League season. Olegario Benquerenca (1), Stephane Lannoy (1), Martin Atkinson (2).

That leaves us with the following 12 referees remaining:

Cuneyt Cakir (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Pavel Kralovec (CZE), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proenca (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP).

Referees should also have performed well during this Champions League season The referees who officiated in the last finals all had great season as referee. Experience is less important. Viktor Kassai, who got the 2010/2011 CL final, only officiated 13 CL matches in total before he got the appointment for the final.

But who made some crucial mistakes?

  • Pavel Kralovec referee the quarter final between Bayern Munich and Arsenal. After a 1-3 win in London, Bayern lost it’s home match with 0-2. Kralovec’s assistant ruled this as offside, which could have led to another Arsenal goal. Kralovec got a Europa League semi-final by the way in which gave a debatable penalty to Basel against Chelsea.
  • Craig Thomson missed two crucial offsides – also Dortmund’s winner in 93th minute – in the match Dortmund Malaga.

Pedro Proença during tv interview: he already officiated the 2012 CL final.

Pedro Proença during tv interview: he already officiated the 2012 CL final.

No crucial mistakes by the following referees, but I think they won’t make a chance for different reasons.

  • I think Uefa will not select a referee who’s not on the prospective list of referees for the 2014 World Cup. That will rule out Paolo Tagliavento and William Collum.
  • Jonas Eriksson already got an Europa League semi-final.
  • Uefa never appointed a referee for the CL final twice: this rules out Pedro Proenca.

These men are still available:
Cuneyt Cakir (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP).

Further analysis to pick the Champions League final referee.

  • Would Uefa pick the second best referee of a country as Champions League final referee? In my opinion Velasco Carballo is better than Undiano Mallenco. But Carballo was not having a top performance when failing to give Ribery a red card.
  • Gianluca Rocchi has not been appointed since November in CL. I know, Lubos Michel also had only done group stage when he got the 2008 final, but he’s the only referee in the last ten years. Michel, the Slovakian referee, was also more experienced than Rocchi. He officiated 49 CL matches before he got the final, Rocchi only 10. Both got 4 qualification matches for the biggest tournament in Europe. I also do think Rizzoli will be a better candidate than Rocchi.
  • Mark Clattenburg was not sublime at Bayern Munich – Juventus. I’ve not seen the match, but according to The Guardian he failed to give Vidal a yellow card which would have led to a suspension for the next match.

Champions League trophy.

Champions League trophy.

Then we’ve got only Cuneyt Cakir and Nicola Rizzoli left. I can’t choose one at the moment.

The Turkish referee sent off Nani. Some referees would say that was a good call, others would only have booked the Manchester United player. Uefa will not comment on referee decisions in public, so we’ll never know for sure how they judged the situation. Even if he gets the appointment as Champions League final referee, Uefa could have seen it as a wrong call, but not a major mistake to not get him the final. Cakir had a good season and made lots of progress the last years. He also got the Fifa World Club Final.

And then Rizzoli. Rizzoli wrongly ruled out a goal by Saviola in Malaga’s win over Porto during this season. This did however not effect the match result, but could have been crucial. We should also take into account that Rizzoli is an experienced referee who already got the Europa League final. Esspeccially now there’s no Italian team in the final, he’s a good candidate.

That are my views on who will be the Champions League final referee. But what do you think? Who will get the final?

Uefa confirmed today that the final referee will be announced on Monday 20th of May.

UPDATE: Turkish FA just confirmed Firat Aydinus as referee of Wednesday’s Cup Final. Cakir not available due the CL final? We’ll hear it today.

Reactions from referees who’ll go to EC 2012

Uefa has selected twelve referees for the European Championship 2012 in Ukraine and Poland.

You can find the Uefa list with twelve referees and the fourth officials here. I’ve searched the internet for reactions from each appointed referee, which you can find below.

European referee boss Pierluigi Collina on

“The 12 are all referees from the elite group, so they are the top referees in Europe. They have all refereed UEFA Champions League matches during the past two seasons. What they can guarantee are two main elements – quality and experience. And only one referee, Howard Webb, was at UEFA EURO 2008. So there has been significant turnover.”

Cüneyt Çakır from Turkey was appointed after a lapse of sixteen years without a Turkish referee at a European Championship. The Turkish FA the selection of Çakır a “historic achievement“.

Jonas Eriksson from Sweden on the website of the Swedish FA:

“I am extremely proud, happy and grateful to be one of the twelve referees who will go to the European Championship finals and can enjoy this tournament. I want to send a big gratitude to everyone in Swedish football: from refereeing colleagues and observers to the players and coaches who all in different way have developed me as a soccer referee.”

Hungarian FA praises their referee Viktor Kassai as ‘one of the best referees in the world’. And called it ‘no surprise’ that their fellow countryman is elected for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

Bjorn Kuipers was pretty happy he got called personally by Pierluigi Collina to tell him the good news. “A very nice conversation.” Watch the interview Dutch media had with the referee from The Netherlands:

Stéphane Lannoy from France got much support from his national referee chief Marc Batta.

“This is clearly a confirmation of the skills of Stéphane, you do not qualify for a World (2010) and a European Championship without proof of quality. But after enjoying this appointment, Stéphane will have to continue to work hard to prepare for this next stage.”

Pedro Proença from Portugal was selected instead of fellow countryman Olegario Benquerenca. Referee boss Vítor Pereira thinks Portugese referees are all good quality: “This appointment seems to be a reflection of the overall quality of the Portuguese arbitrators and arbitration, their commitment and dedication to refereeing.”

Nicola Rizzoli from Italy has been chosen as one of the twelve, but has not made a statement yet. Neither has the Italian referee organisation.

Damir Skomina from Slovenia had not talked to the media yet.

German referee boss Herbert Fandel congratules Wolfgang Stark with his place at Euro 2012.

“Wolfgang Stark to the Elite of European referees. He has represented the German referees excellently at the World Cup in South-Africa. The nomination for the EC is a confirmation of his constant performance in latest years.”

Scottish FA’s latest news is about Renfrewshire referees who show their respect for veterans. Hope for them they didn’t miss Craig Thomson appointment for Euro 2012.
UPDATE: John Fleming, Scottish referee boss is delighted: “Firstly, I am absolutely delighted for Craig. He is a tremendously hard-working referee and this is great news for all referees in this country.”

Carlos Velasco Carballo from Spain is very happy with his appointment.

“For me, the choice of UEFA and the possibility of being in the Euro Ukraine and Poland is a very special emotion and above all, a dream come true.”

Howard Webb completes the list of twelve. A picture of him got uploaded on long before the list was online, but until the final list was published there was still some doubt among British people on Twitter wether Martin Atkinson would be chosen from the UK.
UPDATE: British FA congratulates mr. Webb with some words of David Elleray, Chairman of The FA’s Referees Committee: “We are delighted that following the Champions League Final and World Cup Final appointments, Howard has once again been appointed to a major international tournament.”

Referees in the media (week 32)

‘Referees in the media’ will be published each Monday on the Dutch Referee Blog and provides remarkable or interesting quotes and links to articles worth reading.

“When the referee understood Czech, he got one more non-native language than I got.”

Says goalie Dennis Eilhoff from Dynamo Dresden ironically. He took the stand for his Czech colleague Pavel Fort who got send off. According to Eilhoff referee Tobias Stieler misunderstood the words of the Czech player.

I should have given PSV Eindhoven that penalty.

Eric Braamhaar regrets he didn’t see the offence on Georginio Wijnaldum from PSV. He came back to his decision after the match and admitted he was wrong.

I spoke many times with the referee about it, I didn’t understand.

By Thiago Motta, who was frustrated about referee Nicola Rizzoli’s decisions in Italian SuperCoppa. His team lost 2-1 from AC Milan.