Throughout the entire year, Mark Clattenburg, who was ranked as no. 5 last year, has impressively convinced in most of his games and excelled in the areas of decision-taking, game-management, control and communication. He represented a modern way of interpreting the Laws of the Game and succeeded in combining to maintain a certain distance and authority on the one hand, but to stay approachable and empathic for the players on the other hand.
Congratulations, Clatts, for a remarkable refereeing year 2016.
Poland's Szymon Marciniak (l.) and Damir Skomina (r.) from Slovenia have been chosen as numbers 2 and 3 behind Clattenburg mirroring that 2016 has been a very successful year for both of them. While Marciniak (2015: no. 6) is clearly UEFA's new star referee at the moment and obviously made the biggest jump of all Elite referees in 2016, Skomina (2015: no. 11) has managed to return to his old, good form that once made him reach UEFA refereeing's top in past years. Both officials convinced at EURO 2016 and in practically all notable Champions League or Europa League ties.
01. Mark Clattenburg - England - born in 1975 - 110 points
02. Szymon Marciniak - Poland - born in 1981 - 86 points
03. Damir Skomina - Slovenia - born in 1976 - 70 points
04. Nicola Rizzoli - Italy - born in 1971 - 68 points
05. Viktor Kassai - Hungary - born in 1975 - 64 points
06. Milorad Mažić - Serbia - born in 1973 - 46 points
07. Cüneyt Çakır - Turkey - born in 1976 - 43 points
08. Felix Brych - Germany - born in 1975 - 38 points
09. Björn Kuipers - Netherlands - born in 1973 - 29 points
10. Jonas Eriksson - Sweden - born in 1974 - 19 points
Other officials mentioned by our voters: Ovidiu Hategan (Romania), Sergei Karasev (Russia), Gianluca Rocchi (Italy), Danny Makkelie (Netherlands), Deniz Aytekin (Germany), Tasos Sidiropoulos (Greece), Martin Strömbergsson (Sweden), Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)
Previous Annual Rankings:
2015: 01. Çakır - 02. Rizzoli - 03. Brych
2014: 01. Kuipers - 02. Rizzoli - 03. Pitana
2013: 01. Kuipers - 02. Webb - 03. Ricci
2012: 01. Çakır - 02. Roldán - 03. Proença
The3rdTeam's Rising Referee Star Award 2016
For the first time, we also like to honour a referee we are considering as a rising star on 'UEFA's Refereeing Heaven'. It is given to a referee who managed or initiated his breakthrough (only) in the past year 2016 and is deemed as a very talented official with a bright future inside European refereeing.
The 2016 winner is: Aliyar Aghayev of Azerbaijan.
Born in 1987, the 29-year old Second Group referee from Baku has made an impressive development over the last months and has established as a talented, courageous and reliable official in UEFA Europa League. His personal highlight probably was being appointed for UEFA Under-19 EURO 2016 in Germany and handling the final match between France and Italy, where he totally convinced. We wish him good luck for the future!
In former times, we created world rankings on the basis of not too many matches we have seen. For the first time, we would like to highlight one referee from each confederation outside UEFA (except OFC) who has had a very successful year 2016 and can be regarded as the year's best official on the respective continent.
Asia (AFC): Alireza Faghani from Iran (r. in the picture). The 1978 born referee impressed at the Olympic Games in Brazil. On the basis of an excellent fitness and game-understanding, he was rightfully rewarded with officiating the final game between Brazil and Germany in Maracana. From our point of view, he has the potential to follow Ravshan Irmatov's footsteps by reaching a lot at the coming World Cup.
Africa (CAF): Bakary Gassama. He once again delivered convincing performances throughout the year, in particular in CAF's Champions League final return game.
North- and Central America & Caribbean (CONCACAF): Roberto García Orozco of Mexico. The 1974 born official residing in Mexico City has, among others, managed the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League and convinced at Copa América, where he took charge of USA-Colombia and a quarterfinal game.
South America (CONMEBOL): Patricio Loustau from Argentina. Although not pre-selected, Loustau has been reported as the most consistent and best referee in South America's top competitions in 2016 including the Copa América where only Argentina's presence in the last games avoided his appointment for the final. Here we gratefully rely on the rankings of Árbitro Internacional.