The Doctor Is In: Felix Brych
“Dang it, Jim, I’m an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean, I am a doctor, but I’m not that kind of doctor. I have a doctorate, it’s not the same thing. You can’t help people with a doctorate, you just sit there, and you’re useless!” – Dr. Doppler, Disney’s Treasure Planet
When Benfica and Sevilla meet in Turin, Italy on May 14, Dr. Felix Brych won’t exactly be useless. Brych is both a doctor (well, he has a doctorate) and a damn fine referee.
Brych, 38 and based in Munich, is a financial lawyer (but in spite of that, I’m sure he’s a very nice guy). His doctorate thesis was on sports.
He’s been in the Bundesliga since 2004, and became FIFA-listed in 2007. Since then, he’s refereed over 50 UEFA competitions and several World Cup qualifying matches.
Until the last year or so, Wolfgang Stark was considered Germany’s top referee, but Brych quickly eclipsed him and pipped him to Germany’s spot in the 25-man roster of World Cup 2014 final referees.
Couple of things on Brych:
Like many German referees, he’s pretty strict. In the Barcelona v. Atletico Madrid Champions League clash held on January 14, he showed 8 cards in that game alone.
However, he tends to be level headed and good at keeping the match flowing. He really only will pull out the red if he feels he has no other choice.
Finally, if you’re keeping track, he’s one of the more handsome Elite referees out there (see above). Last time I watched him referee in a crowded pub, the female half of the room would titter and coo every time he was on camera, much to the chagrin of the male half…