Referee for World Cup Semifinal Between Brazil and Germany: Marco Rodriguez

Brazil v GermanyMarco Rodriguez of Mexico – known as “chiquidracula” partly for his love of hair product – will take the first semifinal, between Brazil and Germany.

Rodriguez has had a good tournament, and what’s more, he’s proven that he can handle making tough calls. It was, after all, Rodriguez who sent off Italy’s Claudio Marchisio for a studs up challenge.

This is especially important after the Brazil v. Colombia match, in which the referee’s overly lenient behavior arguably led to the tournament’s worst injury.

He is, of course, best known in this tournament for being the referee who missed the Luis Suarez bite on Giorgio Chiellini.

But I am okay with that; Suarez did that in such a way that it was hidden from the referee, and it took several camera angles before it became conclusive that that’s what happened. Rodriguez knew something had happened but, since neither he nor his team saw it, chose to do nothing at the time.

Though that’s been held up as a fault, it was probably wise, and allowed FIFA’s disciplinary committee to act.

Here are the matches Rodriguez has been in so far:

USA’s Mark Geiger will serve as fourth official. Geiger is also from CONCACAF, which means it’s highly unlikely we’ll see him as referee of one of the last three games.

Note: A Costa Rican reporter named Juan Arango claims that Geiger has already been chosen for the second semifinal. Note that Geiger is the 4th Official in this match, held in Belo Horizonte. One of his team – Sean Hurd – will be with him. The second semi is in Sao Paulo the next day. The two cities are 8 hours or an airplane flight apart.

I suppose anything is possible, but for this to happen, he would have to get on a plane and go straight to Sao Paulo. He would not be able to have a pitch inspection or team meetings the day or so before the match, as is traditional. He’d also be open to security threats, since he’d have to be at a stadium and in an airport after he’d been announced as the semifinal referee. (This could actually be super dangerous for the referee.)

That isn’t really how FIFA operates, but as you can see, Arango claims it’s a done deal.



  • Oh great, correctly predicted Rodriguez… but for the wrong game 😉
    Fully expect Cakir for NED – ARG, but who knows, FIFA might throw another spanner in the works.


    • Cakir’s got to be in the mix. They may hold him for the final, if both Brazil and Netherlands get through, and if they’re worried about Howard Webb not being accepted.


      • I must say, I’ve watched Rodriguez in two previous World Cup’s (’06, ’10), and to put it kindly, well he was disastrous in both tournaments. Was a bit disappointed he got chosen over his countryman Roberto Garcia as I feel he’s a better referee. I was expecting another awful tournament for Rodriguez, however, he’s improved and has pleasantly surprised me.

        I can’t for the life of me see Webb getting NED – ARG. It’s a shame, but I feel as though the best he can hope for is a 3rd place playoff. I’ll retain my prediction of Eriksson for the final. Updated predictions:

        NED – ARG: Cuneyt Cakir

        3rd Place Playoff: Howard Webb

        Final: Jonas Eriksson


        • I love me some Jonas Eriksson. I do. But I’d be shocked if he was in the final. His fitness is not so great, and it affects his positioning. I mean, if you can’t get out of Xherdan Shaqiri’s way…

          I think they’re holding on to Kuipers and Ricci with the hope that they’ll be able to use one of them… That, in my mind, would be the best case scenario.


          • Eriksson has worked hard on his fitness, you should see him a couple of years ago, where he was a tad overweight. I watched him in GHA – USA, where he did well to keep-up with the game. Especially during the game when it was “end-to-end” with plenty of counter attacks.
            The Shaqiri incident (though amusing), was an isolated incident.

            Eriksson has had three solid outings, each without incident. Control, natural authority and confidence, with a good rapport with players. Ideal prerequisites for a final referee. I think with these circumstances, he’ll be the best option.


            • Oh, I know the referee very well. I know he used to be a lot less fit. But he’s still big and slow.

              It’s just that the chances of getting three European refs are pretty slim. With the choices of Webb, Cakir and even Rizzoli ahead of him (and just possibly Kuipers), I would just be surprised…

              Not upset. I love him as a referee. Just surprised.


            • And remember, he was passed over this season in the Europa League for Brych. Getting the World Cup Final seems a stretch…


              • I understand that, but you could argue he was in the running for the CL final, but got a semi. Also, he did get some decent CL/EL games. Appointed to each round of CL: Man City – Barcelona, Spurs – Benfica, Bayern -Man Utd and Atletico – Chelsea. That’s impressive. And with Collina and Dallas observing him multiple times, he was definitely being considered for the final. Just unlucky Kuipers is in the form of his life.
                Would think he and Cakir are frontrunners for next years CL final. That’s if he doesn’t give up his FIFA badge of course…


  • Mmm…I would have preferred Webb, but I guess, he might be able to manage. He had some trouble to keep order in the Uruguay/Italian match, but I guess this time around, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, since the German team might be the fairest in the tournament (I’m not just saying this as fan, they barely foul at all, and if they do, it is always a tactical foul…I think of all the teams which made it so far, they have the least number of fouls by far), and in neither team is a crazy biter…it is also unlikely that the Germans will play the rough game of the Brazilians, unless, naturally, the ref doesn’t react, and I guess this one will.

    If Germany advances, I wonder if they pick Brych for the third place play-off. It’s more or less the only game they can give him with the current constellation.

    Still hope for Webb for the finals.


    • As much as I love Dr. Dreamy, I think there are referees out there who’ve performed better and would be in front of him.

      I think he’ll do fine. He’s a good choice.

      And I would say Switzerland was the fairest in the tournament. 😉 TOO fair sometimes. I guess Germany might be of who’s left…


      • Well, that’s why I said “one of”…there are a couple of teams I consider fair and fairness is difficult to judge, so I judge based on statistics. I remember that before the quarterfinals, Germany had the least number of yellow cards and the least number of fouls of all teams, but during the last minutes of the France game, some players took advantage of being still clean, so Germany collected two more.

        (But isn’t it nice to cheer for a fair team?).

        I actually think that Argentina/Netherland might be the more difficult challenge, so I guess they picked the best they could for this one.


  • Rodriguez – called it! Still betting on Cakir and Webb in some order for the other semi and the final. Maybe Cakir and Rizzoli.


  • Glad to see Rodríguez get another match, if only because I think he got unfairly vilified after the Italy/Uruguay game (I got some extremely nasty comments on a post I wrote defending him). Hopefully he has a good semifinal and that can erase some of people’s knee-jerk negative reaction to him.

    And an interesting fact regarding his nickname – it *used* to be Chiquidracula, but Rodríguez is very religious and didn’t appreciate the “Dracula” reference. He requested that Chiquimarco be used instead, and most media now uses that to refer to him.


    • Awww…Chiquimarco! (Of course, it was great, because I said it in my heavily California/American accent, so it sounded like ‘Cheeky Dracula’. “Oh,’re so cheeky!”)

      I’m glad to see him get a match, too. I thought he did just fine and couldn’t really understand the utter freaking MELTDOWN people had.

      (Of course, some of those same people completely ignored other referees’ mistakes, so….)


  • The following 15 referees have been retained, the rest sent home:

    Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
    Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
    Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
    Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
    Marco Rodriguez (MEX)
    Mark Geiger (USA)
    Enrique Osses (CHI)
    Carlos Vera (ECU)
    Sandro Ricci (BRA)
    Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
    Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    Pedro Proenca (POR)
    Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
    Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
    Howard Webb (ENG)


  • I don’t think he did very well in the Ita-Uru at all! He single handedly changed the outcome of the game!, the first red was very very questionable and then a guy that had bitten someone 2 previous times go’s and bites a player and he does nothing. I could understand if Suarez had never had this issue because then you would be thinking Chielini was crazy because it’s so far fetched but the fact that he had a history of it. Also if Uruguay scored in the 1st half or 20 minutes after the incident then it wouldn’t be a big deal but within a minute after that when the team still can’t figure out what happened!! So Rodriguez single handedly changed the outcome, because it should’ve been 10 on 10 with the ball on the other side of the pitch. I’m not even a fan of either team just a fan of fair play!!


    • We’ve talked about this before, but Rodriguez didn’t see it, and it actually took several different video viewings to confirm it.

      He made the right choice. As we’ve seen with Zuniga, had he taken any action based on his gut, it could have prevented FIFA from taking the kind of action they did.


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