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Football is one of the most popular sports and has a huge fan following around the globe. Football cannot be enjoyed without a referee as he/she is one of the most important individuals on the field responsible for enforcing the rules during a football match. The referee remained impartial and concentrated on making the game as fair as possible. The referee is the only official on the field with the authority to start and stop play and to make the players abide by the rules. To make sure matches go smoothly, a referee also co-operates with the assistant referees and, even with the fourth official. Since they are only humans, they can make mistakes and the controversy make football more interesting. In this blog, we will look at the top 10 best FIFA referees in the world.
Top 10 FIFA Referees in the World
|Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Mark William Geiger is an American sports administrator and former soccer referee. With his brilliant encounter and expertise, he is regarded as one of the best referees of all time. He has been on the FIFA International Referees List from 2008 to 2019 and also officiated domestic Major League Soccer (MLS) games. Mark is the senior director of match officials at the Professional Referee Organization, which supervise domestic referees in Major League Soccer. He was named MLS referee of the year in 2011 and 2014. Mark Geiger is brilliant in mathematics and he teaches this subject as well.
Martin is an English referee coach and retired professional football referee who officiated majorly in the Premier League. He was known for his superb ability to cover ground and smart decisions during the match. He officiated the Football League Cup final in 2014 and in the 2011 FA Cup final, both of which Manchester City won. Atkinson was appointed to the list of FIFA referees in 2006.
Nester Pitana is a former actor and Argentine football referee who refereed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 Copa América, and 2018 FIFA World Cup. He oversaw the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia of the FIFA World Cup 2018. After Horacio Elizondo, he became the second official to officiate both the opening games and the final of the same tournament. His performance in the FIFA World Cup 2018 Final has seen some controversy, mostly related to the use of VAR technology.
This Turkish referee has overseen close to 200 matches in the Turkish Super Ligue. He was the referee who sent John Terry off the field in the 2012 Champions League semi-final which was played between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at Camp Nou. He became the first referee in Champions League history to oversee two separate semi-final matches. In 2011, Çakır officiated 5 games including the semi-final between Portugal and France in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and was also appointed to referee the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina.
Anthony Taylor is considered to be one of the world’s best football referees. He has officiated games like the 2015 Football League Cup final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Taylor was selected as a primary referee for the 2020 UEFA Super Cup in September 2020. He also officiated the match between Ghana and South Korea in FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar.
Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
He is a Spanish association football referee and also refereed the qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup which made him a prominent international referee. Antonio was chosen to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and tournament. He has been officiating La Liga games since 2008. He is best known for his expansive and “quirky” approach to refereeing.
In 2018, FIFA announced that Damir will officiate some matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup along with Jure Praprotnik and Robert Vukan as assistant referees. He served as the fourth referee in numerous matches. He has also officiated the 2012 UEFA Super Cup and the 2017 UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United. Damir officiated the iconic quarter-final match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich played at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon where Bayern Munich won the match by 8–2.
He is a former Dutch football referee and has officiated various prestigious football games, including the 2011 UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Europa League Final in 2013, and FIFA Confederations Cup Final in 2013. He was the referee who officiated the UEFA Champions League final in 2014 and the U-20 World Cup final in 2017. Bjorn has been a UEFA Elite group referee from 2009 to 2021 and a FIFA-listed referee from 2006 to 2021.
Daniele Orsato is an Italian football referee who became a FIFA referee in 2010. In the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final, Orsato is in charge of the match between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. Daniele was named the best referee of 2020 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.
Daniele Orsato officiated the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 between Qatar and Ecuador. He also served as a referee in qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2012.
At number one on this list of best FIFA referees of all time is Felix Brych. He is a former FIFA referee and held the rank of UEFA elite category referee. This German football referee officiated important matches like the Sevilla-Benfica UEFA Europa League Final in 2014 and the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2017. He started refereeing in the Bundesliga in 2004 and was awarded his FIFA badge in the year 2007. In 2018, he was selected by FIFA as one of the referees to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Felix is considered one of the most highly regarded European referees of his generation.
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