Rizzoli is Referee of the Year

Nicola Rizzoli has been named Italy’s top referee for the 858th year in a row.

Okay,  I exaggerate.

It’s just 857.

In all seriousness, this is at least the third year in a row that Rizzoli has walked onto the stage at Italy’s Gran Gala and accepted the trophy.  And I think he’s worn the same suit every year. (For someone who gives his hair a great deal of attention, he does seem the ‘dress down’ type.)

He actually may have won more than three years running, but everything’s in Italian and I got tired of looking at that suit.

I did find it quite amusing that when they gathered all the winners on stage, they sat Rizzoli – an architect and by all accounts a super intelligent guy – next to…

Mario Balotelli.

Strange…he didn’t look like he found it all that funny.

Right about now, he’ll give the damn trophy back if Mario Balotelli will stop talking to him.

Anyway, his competition this year consisted of Gianluca Rocchi and Daniele Orsato and let’s face it, it’s not much of a competition. Champions League final, World Cup berth, every major Italian derby: The guy’s a beast. Just a refereeing beast.

But he’s also 42, so maybe Rocchi and Orsato can outlast him. That’s about the only chance they’ll have of getting their hands on that trophy anytime soon.

Unless he lets them hold it.

That awkward moment when you realize the ice in Balotelli’s ear cost more than your annual salary…

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