December 29, 2014

The 3rd Team Referee of the Year 2014: Björn Kuipers

As we are approaching the end of the year, time has come to reveal our annual global ranking of international referees. For the second time in a row, Dutch international match official Björn Kuipers is honoured by the blog and its community as The 3rd Team Referee of the Year 2014.

Kuipers: "Yes! No.1!"  Rizzoli: "But it was scarce!"  Pitana: "Be glad that you came second, I almost caught you!"

The 41-year old owner of a supermarket took charge of last season's UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, where Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid met for an all-Spanish derby. Supported by his standard assistant referees Sander van Roekel, who was replaced by Angelo Boonman at the start of 2014 due to injury, and Erwin Zeinstra, Kuipers apparently convinced the majority of the voters with his good performances and management abilities not only in UEFA's club competitions, but specially at World Cup 2014.
In Brazil, Björn Kuipers officiated three matches including England-Italy and Switzerland-France in the group stage as well as the thrilling tie between Colombia and Uruguay in the Round of 16. Given the process of the Dutch national team, there was no chance for Kuipers to reach much more than that.

However, compared to last year, the difference between Kuipers and the second-ranked referee is not that huge anymore. World Cup 2014 final referee Nicola Rizzoli of Italy has managed to take this place. After very strong performances in UEFA Champions League's K.O. stage, he took charge of four World Cup matches. In particular, his performance in Spain-Netherlands was much discussed as there were some technical deficits apart from a very well controlled remake of 2010's horror final. Two normal games followed this start, both with Argentine involvement. After their quarterfinal win over Belgium, Rizzoli's team (Renato Faverani, Andrea Stefani) were assigned for Rio de Janeiro's final between Germany and Argentina. His style of refereeing and some decisions in this match definitely polarized, but in the end, you can only raise your hat to Rizzoli considering his achievements in 2014.

Just a few points more than Howard Webb and therefore ranked third: Argentine Néstor Pitana. Originally, he was not the first option to reach the Argentine World Cup ticket as his compatriot Diego Abal was listed as no.1 for quite a long time. But after his unagitated and overall good performances in three group stage matches including Portugal-USA, he was really convincing in the tradition-rich quarterfinal between France and Germany. Reflecting the past World Cup, Pitana absolutely counts to those officials who stayed calm and composed despite the high pressure at the event of 2014.

Congratulations to those who are ranked behind this top 3 - but also to those, who have not reached this subjective and inofficial ranking!


#
Referee
Nation
Points
1
Björn Kuipers
Netherlands
304
2
Nicola Rizzoli
Italy
243
3
Néstor Pitana
Argentina
228
4
Howard Webb
England
211
5
Cüneyt Çakır
Turkey
205
6
Jonas Eriksson
Sweden
191
7
Sandro Ricci
Brazil
181
8
Marco Rodríguez
Mexico
160
9
Mark Geiger
United States
147
10
Felix Brych
Germany
110
11
Bakary Gassama
Gambia
95
12
Ravshan Irmatov
Uzbekistan
83
13
Carlos Vera
Ecuador
80
14
Mark Clattenburg
England
78
15
Benjamin Williams
Australia
70
16
Nawaf Shukralla
Bahrain
39
17
Joel Aguilar Chicas
El Salvador
35
18
Djamel Haimoudi
Algeria
20
19
Pavel Královec
Czech Rep.
18
20
Antonio Mateu Lahoz
Spain
17
21
Noumandiez Doue
Côte d’Ivoire
15
22
Clément Turpin
France
14
23
Milorad Mažić
Serbia
12

Szymon Marciniak
Poland
12
25
Pedro Proença
Portugal
10

Tasos Sidiropoulos
Greece
10
27
Alireza Faghani
Iran
9

Antonio Arias
Paraguay
7
29
Deniz Aytekin
Germany
7

Ovidiu Hategan
Romania
7
31
Martin Atkinson
England
6

William Collum
Scotland
6
33
Roberto Moreno
Panama
5

Walter López
Guatemala
5

Wolfgang Stark
Germany
5
36
Eric Otogo-Castane
Gabon
4

Viktor Kassai
Hungary
4
38
Gianluca Rocchi
Italy
3
 
* The procedure: The ranking is based on 17 voters who were co-operating with The 3rd Team over the last year. 15 of them are European. Every voter had filled in his personal Top15-ranking. Voters were asked to include at least one match official per confederation, except OFC. To each place, points were assigned (same procedure as 2013). These points were then added up for each referee named. Voters were asked to combine their individual perception of the referees' performances with their achievements gathered over the last year.

49 Comments:

  1. Ricci on 7, Haimoudi on 18? Seems to be thanks to their confed. (every user needed at least 1 ref of each confed)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Milorad Mazic 23d?
    For me, at least in the first 15... his year was really good overwell, except world cup, but 90% of referees there were not at the top level

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kuipers a well deserved winner. Maybe, however, I would have thought that Cakir would be a bit higher up since his World cup was very good too, but I am of course subjective too. Great referees in the top, no doubt!

    /Swedish observer

    ReplyDelete
  4. As it is an aggregation of many personal rankings, there is naturally little room for interpretation. In my own top 15, I had Cakir as no.6 - I tried to combine his excellent World Cup with the rather low form in 2013/14 KO stage (no CL match at all).

    Already now I wish you all a good jump into 2015.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rizzoli 2,Ricci 7, Matéu 20, Turpin 22, Aytekin 29.
    For me: Rizzoli 9, Matéu 33, Turpin 38, Aytekin 42.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am interested in your no. 35!

      Delete
  6. With all the respect,after all superb posts on this blog,this one is at least funny if we exclude first ten places.
    Why?
    Low positions of Stark,Mazic,Atkinskon,Lahoz and high positions of Williams,Chicas (?!),Shukralla,Turpin makes this ranking funny.
    Of course,I'm not objective but come on..half of this referees with high ranking were not on top level during all season.

    Wish you all the best in 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi RefRef,
      I don't understand why this post should be funny, to be honest.
      Niclas explained very well how we did that. An accurate work of collecting votes by our coworkers and then the ranking was created.
      You can of course disagree with that and you can have totally different ideas, that's indeed normal. But the post shouldn't be considered "funny", because it sounds like an insult to the work made and to other people involved. Remember that we are independent and everyone has his own ideas. We accept your view: for you certain referees were not on top level, but for other people they were. I don't find a problem in that.
      To make it even clearer: I disagree for certain referees ranked here, too, but I respect our work and I don't say that this is funny.
      Believe me, we really make strong efforts to assure our work.
      Of course, happy new year to you too....

      Delete
    2. For me this time it was quite difficult to chose the best UEFA referees since there were so many options even from the 1st Category.

      Also don't forget that all Confederations should have at least 1 referee present.

      Delete
  7. The fact that Mateu Lahoz is in the rank while the other spanish Elite referees with "more experience" are not is, at least for me, curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wont question the ranking, but you could objectively answer to this question: What about 2014 for Velasco Carballo? You can find then the answer, perhaps, to your questions. On the other side, Mateu Lahoz year culminated with a promotion...

      Delete
    2. Indeed. I'm not questioning the ranking, but pointing out that only the promoted one of a federation with 4 Elite referees appears in it... maybe someone should have been demoted instead?

      AJ

      Delete
  8. ASIAN CUP REFEREES (if I translated correctly ;)):

    Benjamin Jon Williams (Australia)
    Nawaf Abdullah Ghayyath Shukrallah (Bahrain)
    Alireza Faghani (Iran)
    Ryuji Sato (Japan)
    Abdullah Muhammad Marsoun Al-Hilali (Oman)
    Abdulrahman Muhammad Husain (Qatar)
    Fahd Al-Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia)
    Muhammad Taqi bin Aljaafari bin Jahari (Singapore)
    Kim Dong-Jin (South Korea)
    Muhammad Abdullah Hassan Muhammad (United Arab Emirates)
    Ravshan Ermatov (Uzbekistan)

    Reserve:
    Ng Chiu Kok (Hong Kong)
    Mohd Amirul Izwan bin Yaacob (Malaysia)
    Hettikamkanamge Perera (Sri Lanka)

    All trios are one-country teams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does this mean that Sato is Japan's new number one? Must be really disappointing for Toma. I expected Toma (1973) to be the Japanese candidate for 2018, while Sato (1977) could be a man for 2022.

      Delete
    2. Ryuji Sato and Yudai Yamamoto are Japanese officials on the AFC perspective referees list for 2018.

      Delete
    3. I was surprised that Sato has been selected ahead of the more experienced Toma from Japan, but after Nishimura's international retirement, it seems other referees from Japan all are lacking international experience at this stage. Probably, Japanese Football Association had the final say on the selection of Sato, who will be pushed as a referee in 2018 World Cup.

      Delete
    4. It seems AFC has decided to only select one referee per country, which is sensible. There are four returning referees from previous world cup in 2014, Williams, Shukralla, Irmatov and Faghani. By looking at other names, they are either very young and totally unknown, also a couple referees are old and near the retirement age.

      Delete
    5. There is a new AR in Faghani's trio. Any new ARs in the other trios?

      Delete
    6. You can find the full list here:
      http://www.sedziapilkarski.pl/2015-afc-asian-cup-lista-sedziow/

      Delete
    7. Anonymous1/1/15 13:08

      It seems as Kockarov was obliged to stay out from Irmatov team this time due to the choice made by AFC for national trios.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous2/1/15 02:28

      For those selected referees who are age eligible for the next world cup in 2018, this is the perfect opportunity to impress. It is almost for sure that Asian referees at the next world cup in 2018 will come from this list of 11 selected referees for this coming Asian cup.

      Delete
    9. Mohd Alif Amin Salmee3/1/15 06:11

      Amirul Izwan is a young and prominent Malaysian referee for 2018 World Cup. I was hoping Kim Jong Hyeok of Korea could replace 2 times asian cup referee Kim Dong Jin.

      Delete
  9. Kuipers,Eriksson,Brych and Clattenburg
    are the best for me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous1/1/15 14:41

    Soke City-M.United, first time.
    Too mistakes of Oliver.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous1/1/15 14:42

    Sorry, Stoke and not Soke

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous1/1/15 15:06

    Too bad at second half, too. Missed one epic handball penalty at 65'.
    Poor Oliver.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my opinion, it was an excellent decision to reject this penalty appeal from Stoke City. Of course, the hand was outstretched but the ball has been deflected from a minimal distance and a player's action was a natural fight for position/ball rather than deliberate blocking the shot.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/1/15 17:27

      For me a really, really clear handball too. Cannot be more deliberately imo.

      Delete
  13. Imo missed RC (DOGSO) in Southhampton-Arsenal. There was a second defender close to the foul, but Sanchez only had one, two more steps to run until he was able to shoot.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Evident offside of Diego Costa at goal
    of Chelsea.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous1/1/15 19:26

    Offside before Diego Costa's 1-0 - regarding Hazard's shoot on the woodwork? Is the unwritten law 11 applicable in England (as for example in UEFA/FIFA/Germany)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous2/1/15 09:05

      Regarding Law11 it is not offside. Only because of unwritten suggestions there is a rumour. For me it should be deemed as no offside because behaviour of Diego Costa had no influence on goalkeeper in this particular situation. Keeper was not waiting what Costa will do, he reacted for the first shot. Unfortunately someone decided to sent not relevant description with impact inside and than discussions arose. Poor referees and ARs

      Delete
  16. José Mourinho always gross and
    offensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous2/1/15 15:08

      I don't even know, in which scene he wants a penalty - and forgets, that Ivanovic could have been sent off twice (YC in the 2-1-situation, 2nd YC for the PK, RC for his violent conduct before 5-2). Mourinho, please...

      Delete
  17. http://www.fussballn.de/item/34477-deniz-aytekin-im-interview

    Interview with Deniz Aytekin (in German). Many words, less content...

    At least he confirms his injury (muscle fiber tire).

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous2/1/15 15:23

    Is it possible to get a document with average mark for each elite referee in Champions League grup stage? Who was the best and who the worst? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not possible as these marks are confidential.

      Delete
  19. Is it Velasco Carballo? Very well!
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2dy45i_carles-planas-red-card-sevilla-0-0-celta-vigo-03-01-2015-la-liga_sport

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5/1/15 18:59

      Gil Manzano was good in a difficult match Valencia - Real. He is becoming one of the best referees in Spain.

      Delete
    2. Gil Manzano & Estrada Fernández
      A bright future for Spain?

      Delete
  20. I think it is SFP, look how high contact is and with studs

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous4/1/15 16:42

    Other disasters by Oliver in FA cup. Penalty at Sheffield.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous5/1/15 18:27

    Where is the report of Benfica vs Monaco UCL MD4 ? Ref Borbalán

    ReplyDelete
  23. IFFHS has released 2014 ranking:

    http://www.iffhs.de/the-worlds-best-referee-2014/

    Carlos Velasco Carballo better than Cakir and Pitana....

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous7/1/15 15:39

    Carballo better than Pitana.......no comment, i cannot believed about this decision. i'm agree about the pole position: 1st Rizzoli, 2nd Webb and 3rd Brych

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous7/1/15 16:08

    Women ranking by IFFHS
    1. Steinhaus (GER)
    2. Monzul (UKR)
    3. Chenard (CAN)
    http://www.iffhs.de/the-worlds-best-woman-referee-2014/

    ReplyDelete

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