Referee for 2014 World Cup Final: Nicola Rizzoli

The referee for the final match of the 2014 World Cup is Nicola Rizzoli of Italy.

Germany v Argentina

He will be assisted by his longtime team, Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani, both also of Italy. Carlos Vera of Ecuador will be the fourth official, which I must say is a big appointment for him.

I, personally, could not be more thrilled or less surprised.

And not just because he’s near the top of my Hottest Referees list.

There are few better referees in the world, and few with his experience: He’s had every major Serie A derby over the past few years, and has dominated that league as the annual top referee. He officiated the Europa League final in 2010 and the Champions League final in 2013.

He’s ridiculously fit at 42, a brilliant man manager, great communicator and is as fearless as they come. Twice in this tournament he followed two very poor refereeing performances (Yuichi Nishimura and Carlos Velasco Carballo), and despite the added pressure, performed with aplomb.

In fact, despite Nishimura’s ill-fated penalty call that turned out to be a dive, Rizzoli did not hesitate to point to the spot during Spain v. Netherlands, even though the pressures he must have felt not to do so must have been immense. Whether you agree with the call or not (I do), you have to admit it took guts to do it.

With the possible exception of Bjorn Kuipersof the Netherlands, there is no better choice for the World Cup final than Rizzoli.

He’s earned this.

Here are the matches he’s refereed thus far in the World Cup:

Featured photo: FIFA

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10 comments

  • Congrats to him – hasn’t been overly impressive, but has performed commendably.

    I agree – that’s some CV… Many including (myself) think he would have also gotten the Euro 2012 final as well if Italy hadn’t progressed.

    Kinda feel sorry for Webb, arguably the best referee selected and appointed only twice.

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    • I also think he would have gotten the Euro 2012 final, though I disagree that he’s not been overly impressive. I think what he had to deal with, you can’t complain…

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  • Makes me nervous…Italy and Germany is never a good mix. Hopefully he is better than his colleagues….

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      • I take your word…*bites nails*….god, I wasn’t so nervous in any of the former WCs…..

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        • If it makes you feel any better, Rizzoli is one of those whose place in the history books seems to be very important to him. He’ll be most interested in doing well for his own benefit, than he is at “getting” Germany for some geopolitical reason… His ambition is his driving force.

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          • A little….*is a nervous wreck*…he does allow advantages to play out, right? Nothing is worse for the German team than a ref who constantly interrupts the flow.
            (You know…it just occurred to me that the ref must have a great self-control that he managed to not gape in disbelieve)

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  • I must say, I found the amount of tweets “confirming” Jonas Eriksson as the final referee both amusing and annoying. There were several reporters from South America that “confirmed” this, even after Rizzoli was announced, causing a great deal of consternation and confusion for Swedish fans.

    This was in spite of the fact that the chances were very slim. He was a 4O in the second semifinal, a position that has basically been used as a consolation prize. Even if he’d performed brilliantly in the tournament (and he did just fine), it would make no sense, logistically and security wise, to have him as a 4O if he was a candidate for the final.

    These same reporters also “confirmed” Mark Geiger as the second semifinal referee, completely ignoring the fact that he was the 4O in Belo Horizonte the day before that game was played in Sao Paulo.

    As always, until FIFA says it’s so, it ain’t so. 😉

    Also, I had no inside information on Rizzoli; just was a very educated guess…

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  • Pingback: Thoughts on the Referee: Djamel Haimoudi in Brazil v. Netherlands | PLAY THE ADVANTAGE

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