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