June 14, 2013

Europe's Best Referee 2012/13: Björn Kuipers

The Third Team and its blog referee observers are pleased to honour Dutch Elite referee Björn Kuipers as Europe's Best Referee of the past 2012/13 UEFA campaign. He is followed by Slovenian Damir Skomina on the second and by Turkish Cüneyt Çakır on the third place.

Our number 1 of the past season: Björn Kuipers (NED) (c) gelderlander.nl
Björn Kuipers obviously managed to convince the majority of the voters having performed extra-ordinary well in every single match, specially in the Champions League clash between Barcelona and Paris S.G. in the quarterfinals as well as in the semifinal between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. His tremendous season was crowned by appointments for the Dutch Cup final and Europa League final in Amsterdam. 9 out of 10 voters rated him as no.1 in their individual ranking. Kuipers will also be present at 2013 Confederations Cup starting tomorrow.
Serbian Milorad Mažić is the only match official being present in the top 10 list who did not join the Elite category in the past season.
Congratulations to all the officials who are involved in this ranking.

Each of our observers transmitted a list featuring their individual top 10. The referee on the first place got 15 points, the second placed official got 12, the third got 10. The further seven referees got 3-9 points respectively. Only international achievements in the major UEFA and FIFA competitions starting from 31 August 2012 (Super Cup final 2012) until today have been taken into account.

Our entire top 10 list:

1. Björn Kuipers - Netherlands - 147 points
2. Damir Skomina - Slovenia - 96 points
3. Cüneyt Çakır - Turkey - 93 points
4. Milorad Mažić - Serbia - 76 points
5. Howard Webb - England - 68 points
6. Felix Brych - Germany - 47 points
7. Nicola Rizzoli - Italy - 44 points
8. Jonas Eriksson - Sweden - 40 points
9. Svein Oddvar Moen - Norway - 29 points
10. Pavel Královec - Czech Republic - 24 points

Other referees who reached a binary number of points but did not reach the final ranking (in chronological order): William Collum (Scotland), Pedro Proença (Portugal), Viktor Kassai (Hungary), Ivan Bebek (Croatia), Stéphane Lannoy (France) and Sergei Karasev (Russia)


  1. Haha 40-years olds on tope. I'm hapy whits that, because I'm the same age BJERN KUIPERS.

    1. Anonymous14/6/13 19:38

      So you have still 5 years as FIFA ref

  2. You're right mate, only that I am not a REFEREE, althoug I had high aspirations for doing so. At the age teenager alreadyran the ASSISTANT-REFEREE, flag as linear, but żeczywistość another way.

  3. Excuse me but I think underneath such a thread it's not necessary that everybody unfolds his refereeing background in a language that is, honestly speaking, hard to decode.

  4. Clearly, Kuipers was the best referee thank to his excellent performances, and this is the consequence.
    I agree also with the second place for Skomina, starting from Super Cup, until CL semifinal he showed to bee a reliable referee. Cakir third place can be explained with his appointment in Club World Cup final, and also a solid CL group stage. The only poor match was Manchester United - Real Madrid.
    Nice to see also Rizzoli there, even though (I must be honest as Italian) this wasn't his best season in UEFA competitions (in the past editions he surely deserved more the final).
    According to this ran king, it's even clear that Mazic is going to become an Elite referee, I'm sure (abslutely deserved).

    1. Hi Chef

      Long time no speak

      I'm confused because I remembered a conversation in which we agreed Cakir's performance at Old Trafford (my team) was exemplary? That the Rafael hand was unintentional and that Nani's stupidity was rightly punished? The best performance of the CL this year for me even. You were right that the only thing to keep him from the final was the political context, with Wembley etc. Such a shame.

      And on that point I agree with you on Rizzoli - a poor season all round, culminating in a decent performance in the final but nothing more. Great control but really, the Ribery no call was pivotal. In fact, I was discussing with Niclas Clattenburg's inclusion ahead of him and I am sad not to see him even mentioned - for me both he and Collum were the 'surprise packages' of the season, given how UEFA pushed them and how they responded. Though not counted, Clatts was superb domestically too and responded on both stages to the career-threatening escapade at Stamford Bridge.

      Anyway, Kuipers Skomina and Cakir inseparable for me in terms of consistency, and it is great that we have each recognised the upcoming talent of Mazic Mr consistent himself.

      Nic - Hategan report with you soon, sorry for delay

    2. It's hard to comment on a ranking as it is just the result of the voters.
      I think one can very easily explain Cakir's third place. He was good in most of his matches, managed to reach an important final in Japan, but created controversies after ManU-Real. His team's performance was overall ok for me, we have often talked about the specific facets of it. But he did not get anything after that. Kuipers and Skomina were just better, as they reached more important matches this season and confirmed their good shape in decisive ties, such as EL final.
      As for Clattenburg, you, Nikos, were the only one considering him. The domestic season does not count, as we focus on UEFA and FIFA tournaments. And internationally, Clattenburg was good/ok, but just not good enough to get under the top10 which does not mean he had a poor season..by the way keep in mind we started after Olympic Games with this ranking/observing system.

  5. I'm surprised William Collum didn't make it onto the top 10. IMO he has out performed most people on that list...

    1. Anonymous15/6/13 15:46

      surprised? COLLUM must be glad to be, thanks to his mentor Hugh Dallas on the list of the elite!

    2. Hey, welcome back anti-Scottish Anonymous! How we've missed you...

    3. Have you ever watched Collum? What is it you have against the Scots?

  6. He got 20 points and is on place 11. Very scarcely missed the ranking.

  7. Anonymous15/6/13 10:03

    OK. But Çakir is not competent for third place. A.

    1. Anonymous15/6/13 12:02

      I agree with anonymous...Cakir is not competent for third place..Because he is number one!
      Kind Regards

  8. I had Cakir on place 5, due to the very good CL group stage, WC qualifier match in Balcan and also after his Club WC final. 93 points out of 10 voters obviously means he got 9,3 points on average, which means that he was ranked as no.4 in average.


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