August 10, 2013

Predictions for the first final of the new season

After last weeks' qualifying rounds and the play-off ties allocated at today's drawings at UEFA's headquaters in Nyon, Switzerland, the new European club competition campaign surely is at the ready. At the end of August, last season's winners of UEFA Champions League - Bayern München - and UEFA Europa League - Chelsea FC - will meet in Prague to fight for the first title of the season, the UEFA Super Cup. Time to make an early prediction on the final referee.

One of the best European World Cup refs in South Africa: Olegário Benquerença

Elite Referees minus British and German officials and previous Super Cup final officials:
Martin Atkinson (ENG), Olegário Benquerença (POR), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakır (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Královec (CZE), Björn Kuipers (NED), Stéphane Lannoy (FRA), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proenca (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Wolfgang Stark (GER), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), Howard Webb (ENG)

Furthermore, some other officials already took charge of many finals in the last seasons, so that the likelihood to see them appointed this year is quite low as well. In addition, a few officials are quite unprobable for performance-related or other reasons:
Martin Atkinson (ENG), Olegário Benquerença (POR), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakır (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Královec (CZE), Björn Kuipers (NED), Stéphane Lannoy (FRA), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proenca (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Wolfgang Stark (GER), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), Howard Webb (ENG)

Benquerença: Considering his extremely bright career having culminated at FIFA World Cup 2010 and among others in 2010/11 UEFA Champions League quarterfinal between Man.United and Chelsea FC, assigning the Portuguese referee for a final would be a nice reward before his soon retirement. I once again would like to see the only referee in the Elite Group with a style and personality you can certainly call "positively extra-ordinary" and listen to the commentary saying his full name "Olegário Manuel Bartolo Faustino Benquerença"...

Eriksson: The Swedish referee would definitely deserve a final. His performances in the last campaign have been, all in all, good. His three appearances at FIFA Under-20 World Cup confirmed that. Furthermore, his calm attitude and strong player management would suit to this  match. It would be first final for a Scandinavian referee for quite a long time, after Peter Fröjdfeldt and Claus Bo Larsen in 2008.

Královec: The Czech official had some problems in the UEFA Europa League semifinal involving Chelsea FC last season. Nonetheless he is an outsider option, too. As the final will be played in Prague, the political factor might play a role - but his appointment is rather unlikely in my opinion.

Lannoy: The French official counted to the weaker officials at 2010 FIFA World Cup and the season after it. His European Championship 2012 was however very sovereign and crowned with an overall solid semifinal performance. He will retire in 2014 so that there are not that many opportunities to designate him for a final. The Super Cup final 2013 could be a good opportunity.

Mažić: Following excellent performances throughout the whole last UEFA season, the promotion to Elite was just deserved and nothing else. Born in 1973, big finals have to come quickly. I rather do not believe that he will be appointed in this year, but reading his name would be no surprise at all.

Undiano Mallenco: Despite some great matches and performances some years ago, Undiano's career has partly come to a standstill during the last years. Velasco Carballo was heavily pushed, leading to his quick EL final and EURO participation with not that satisfying results. It was Undiano who joined Under-20 World Cup - Velasco Carballo is still without a FIFA tournament you need for a World Cup call-up. That's why Undiano could be "back in the business". Nonetheless he probably only has some outsider chances.

It's too hard to outline a clear prediction, but I tend to think either Benquerença, Eriksson or Lannoy will be assigned. What do you think?


  1. My prediction:

    FC Bayern München-Chelsea FC
    Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA) Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Michael Annonier (FRA)
    Additional Assistant Referee 1: Antony Gautier
    Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
    Fourth Official: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    UEFA Referee Observer: Herbert Fabdel (GER)

  2. I share your analysis Niclas, and my bet is Jonas Eriksson.
    Otherwise, Lannoy. Those are the names, in my opinion. I don't see Benquerença, Mallenco or Mazic...

  3. Anonymous10/8/13 09:44

    @ Nur:
    My prediction: The referee observer for this year's UEFA Super Cup will NOT originate from Germany. ;-)

    Kind regards from Vienna,

  4. Anonymous10/8/13 09:47

    Even though it has happened in the past that the "number two" from a country gets a final, I must say that I doubt that this will be the case this year. Therefore I doubt that Benquerenca will get the final, and his last season was so-so, mainly due to old injuries I guess. So I rule him out. I don't see Mallenco as a candidate at all, but maybe I am biased in some way when I think that the current Spanish elite ref squad is not what it should be. So, no Spaniard for me.

    My three main candidates are Lannoy, Eriksson and Moen. Lannoy's last chance to get a final, probably so I would give it to him, although his latest season was not all bright and shining. Eriksson deserves the final too, I think, and possibly also Moen. In Eriksson's case I think however that he will progress further this season and take charge of either the UCL or the UEL final next year, and maybe the committee reasons in the same way as me and gives the Super cup final to someone else. And Moen is still young so he has his chances in the future.

    All in all - Lannoy for me, and presumably with an entire French team with him.

    /Swedish observer

  5. I share your view on the Spanish officiating at the moment.
    For my taste, Lannoy is a favourite to handle EL final 2014. But of course, that's totally irrelevant. I am very sure that nobody predicted Kuipers after his weak EURO 2012 at the start of last season. Perhaps I think in a too "nostalgic" way regarding Benquerenca and I agree Eriksson and Lannoy have better chances on paper. I however disagree with you concerning Moen. In my opinion he is not ready for such a match and had two weak CL matches in the last K.O. stage - only logical he was left out of EL semifinals which could have been very possible.

  6. Thanks Peter :) Probably wasn't thinking straight at that late hour.
    Then I will swap him for Levnikov

  7. Anonymous10/8/13 17:39

    I think will be Lannoy and his french team

  8. My prediction

    FC Bayern München - Chelsea FC

    Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
    Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
    Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
    Additional Assistant Referee 1: Firat Aydinus(TUR)
    Additional Assistant Referee 2: Huseyin Gocek(TUR)
    Fourth Official: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    UEFA Referee Observer: Nikolay Levnikov (RUS)

    1. Anyway, I think that in the Super Cup the fourth official is regularly an assistant referee, the appointment is made similar to a CL one, without reserve assistant referee.

    2. So, my guess:

      FC Bayern München - Chelsea FC

      Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
      Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
      Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Waernmark (SWE)
      Additional Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
      Additional Assistant Referee 2: Martin Strombergsson (SWE)
      Fourth Official: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
      UEFA Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

    3. Observer is usually a committee member.

    4. Ok thanks so Jaap Uilenberg (Netherlands)

  9. Are the observers for next CL week already designated? (kika..;))

  10. Great analissy as well, thanks to all to ready these pleasure comments under the sun; I agree on the who could not be in the list for nationality or performances reasons (buy why scottish are out in cae of english team ?), but I would keep in the game Moen and cakir.
    Perfectly agree about lannoy and benquerenca; this could be in my opinion too, last chance to reward their acrrier before their retimrement, especially for Lannoy who is perfoming very well in the last period. Culd e good time for Eriksson too but also for Moen who is IMO best young talent in Elite group. BUT... I think and guess that this final match could be the right to bring back and highest level Cuynet Cakir after accident in last CL season in RM-MUTD.
    So my guess would be Cakir - Gocek and Yildrim as additional assistant ref and Aydinus as 4th offcial.


  11. My prediction is:
    Benquerenca - J.Santos, R.Santos - de Sousa, Xistra - Tome - Levnikov

  12. Anonymous13/8/13 01:51

    Note - all referee appointments for UCL from play off and UEL from group stage, all appointments including ARs will be made by UEFA now and not as before, where UEFA appointed referee and national association appointed 'a team'. 'teams' have gone!

    1. That's very interesting. Reliable source?

  13. Replies
    1. Anonymous19/8/13 22:51

      After watching referee teams for UEFA Champions League Playoff, I don't think so: in fact Gervasoni, Celi, Stieler aren't international referees, and I think that UEFA couldn't appoint them, because UEFA doesn't know who they are.



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