April 21, 2014

Howard Webb to handle Real Madrid - Bayern München

42-year old Howard Webb of England has been designated to take control over Wednesday's UEFA Champions League semifinal at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid and FC Bayern München are about to meet for the second time after 2011/12 in this stage of the competition fighting for the honour to join Lisbon final in May.


A former sergeant and professional referee, Webb was chosen by FIFA to attend Brazil's World Cup 2014 in the midst of January. It is Webb's third semifinal in a row, having handled Real Madrid's 2:0 win but equally defeat vs Borussia Dortmund last year and Bayern München's win against, yes, Real Madrid in 2012. For the Englishman it is already the sixth Champions League match of this season, three of them involving Real Madrid (1:1 at Juventus Turin and 6:1 at Schalke 04). The German champions won't be glad if they believe in statistics: in 2010, Webb oversaw their Champions League final loss against Internazionale in Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
His standard assistant referees Michael Mullarkey and Darren Cann will run his lines, while Elite referee Martin Atkinson and Anthony Taylor have been selected as additional assistant referees. Stephen Child will function as fourth official.
What makes this designation even more vital is the presence of UEFA's Chief Officer of Refereeing Pierluigi Collina who will accompany and assess the match officials' performance and probably give them vital advices with regard to the pending World Cup.

23 April 2014, 20:45 CET
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Real Madrid CF - FC Bayern München
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stephen Child (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)
UEFA Delegate: Jacques Antenen (SUI)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)


  1. Well good appointment, even though it comes unexpected to me. What I just thought about is that, if the rumours are true that he is considering to finish his career after the World Cup, Webb would say goodbye on UEFA level with a CL semifinal between Real Madrid and Bayern München observed by Collina... does it go better?

  2. I'm in trouble now, another unexpected appointment.
    Howard Webb observed by Collina, in the same match he had two years ago (Bayern - Real Madrid, 17/04/12).
    UEFA is appointing always the same officials. That's really strange.
    Now, if we consider sure that Rizzoli has a match (Chelsea - Atletico) and the same for Proença (Bayern - Real), we must talk about Mazic.
    Europa League semifinal for Mazic? Or even directly final assignment?
    I think that in case of appointment for a EL semifinal, Mazic will be a hot candidate for CL final.
    Even more, no room for Cakir, at least in Champions League.

    1. I am quite sure that there is only Kuipers now for CL final.

    2. Always I was certain that Kuipers will be the referee for final.
      And I meet absurde that Collina see Webb at this match.

    3. Anonymous21/4/14 11:51

      Sevilla-Valencia, Mazic.
      Benfica-Juventus, Çakir.
      A.Madrid-Chelsea, Rizzoli.
      Bayern-Real, Proença
      Valencia-Sevilla, Moen.
      Juventus-Benfica, Velasco
      Final CL, Kuipers
      Final EL, Brych

    4. Anonymous21/4/14 17:59

      Kuipers with big mistakes in Group stage match. IMO not to go for final.

  3. Martin Atkinson as AAR but not Clattenburg. This could mean that Clattenburg has a match in EL semifinals, otherwise he might have been appointed as AAR, too.
    The fact that the match is more than a top clash, justifies that.

    1. Anonymous21/4/14 11:53

      Howard Webb 3 times to Real in this season.....?????

    2. I agree - think Clatts will get a Europa League appointment.

    3. Benfica - Juventus is the only option, because there is an English delegate in Sevilla - Valencia.

    4. Anonymous21/4/14 13:52

      Has Clatts ever been an AAR of Webb? I can't remember that he was.

    5. Euro 2012 and the 2011/12 Semi Final between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, if I recollect correctly.

  4. Anonymous21/4/14 11:45

    With this appointment, we might be prepared for Team Webb in Turin 2014...

  5. Anonymous21/4/14 12:32

    Honestly, I expected Webb for this match. Only the presence of PLC made me a bit doubtful. But if you only concentrate on same facts, Webb was logical for this match:
    - the "european clasico" needs an experienced top class ref who is able to handle challenging matches and who is familiar with the special atmosphere in Bernabeu
    - His outstanding performance in Atletico-Barca showed that he is on his top level in this time, so it was logical that he gets a further match
    - Because of the presence of Chelsea in the other semi, Real-Bayern was the only possibility. And of course UEFA would not give a rematch to an Englishman if an english team is in the other semi. This would be an opportunity for media to create conspiraty theories.
    - Even if the Elite group consists of about 20 refs, there are some refs in which UEFA trusts in the very special matches: One of them is Webb

    If it is true that Webb finishes his career after WC, I could also imagine him in EL final

    best regards

  6. Anonymous21/4/14 15:27

    Who is "41-year old Howard Webb of England"? ;-)


    1. 42 years old, I think.

    2. That happens if you speculate on Mazic and prepare a text in advance :P Thanks.

  7. Anonymous21/4/14 18:28

    depending on the return assignments and the assignments for the EL semi finals my predictions are:

    UCL final Kuipers 4th official Cakir
    UEL final Brych 4th official Mazic

    The returns of the semi finals UCL and UEL will be done by the remaining WC referees. Regards RC

  8. Anonymous23/4/14 17:17

    Dutch Elite referee Björn Kuipers and his regular assistents have Friday a match in Dutch Championship. So maybe team has a match next week.

    1. Anonymous23/4/14 17:18

      *So maybe team Kuipers has a match next week. Maybe semifinal EL

  9. Anonymous23/4/14 20:37

    Björn Kuiperrs always has his regular assistants with him. So that means not so much as you think it does.

  10. Anonymous23/4/14 21:35

    Webb is his usual excellent himself. First half was handelled very good. Some tricky decisions for Mullarkey and Cann. And I wonder whether Mullarkey got all non-offsides decisions right? Sooo difficult calls to make though...

    /Swedish observer

    1. Anonymous23/4/14 21:43

      C. Ronaldo seemed offside when he missed that big chance

    2. Anonymous23/4/14 23:20

      It was maybe slight offside by not more than 15 cm. Not a mistake in such pace of the action.

  11. Anonymous23/4/14 22:40

    Great game by Webb. His body language as well as his way he uses his personality to control this important and fairly difficult game is truly inspiring.


  12. Anonymous23/4/14 22:44

    Fully agree.

    /Swedish observer

  13. Anonymous23/4/14 22:46

    SPOT ON for the crucial decision of the whole game, in the last minutes.
    No penalty, no simulation.

  14. The man for the big occasions...

  15. Anonymous23/4/14 23:18

    I am not so impressed by Webb's performance. Apart from that situation with fall of Muller which Webb dealt perfectly with, the game was far less demanding than yesterday's clash. Players respected each other, Real play in totally different way when are not coached by Mourinho. OK, Webb was damn right with Muller, but in my opinion didn't find a balance between being strict and lenient in his foul detection and management of players. Some shoulder-to-shoulder clashes were whistled, whilst some fouls were missed (42', 90+4 by Robben). He was also inconsistent (or too lenient) with Isco, whom he warned after two hard fouls in 16', 17' and then didn't even talk to him after another borderline offence (nearly SPA in 55'). It was the best moment to issue a yellow card for persistent infringing the LoTG. Muller could be happy to not receive a yellow card in 88' for rather reckless than careless tackle on Bale and then in 90+2' for protests. Having said that, I don't think he was poor, but more consistency in such "calm" match would be better. Taking into account his great decision from the end of the game, I think the mark should be 8.3 or 8.4 for the sergeant.

    1. Anonymous23/4/14 23:34

      OK, now I see Webb was not able to detect that incident inside penalty area with Muller. It was solely Atkinson's decision. And he was right. Muller was during the shot and Alonso was trying to clear the ball too. Muller kick in Alonso's knee by a toe, what was totally accidental and Alonso finally hit the ball. Play on! But here, without a bouquet of flowers for Webb as I previously written. My mark is max. 8.3 then.


  16. Anonymous23/4/14 23:23

    I think it was a penalty. Xabi Alonso first made contact with Muller and then slightly touched the ball. For me it's a foul, a harsh one, but still a foul. I think Webb didn't see it, but AAR should've spotted it.

    1. Anonymous24/4/14 08:45

      You have a right for your opinion, but most of us here will agree to disagree with you.
      For me Isco 55' wasn't SPA, another player was covering near. He did get his YC few minutes later for handball.
      Müller 88' on Bale looked worse than it really was for me, no YC needed.
      Concerning protest, he was really lenient, but still consistent, as he always have been. He didn't punish Müller and he didn't also punish Ramos. Ramos went to confront AR, after he flagged clear foul on Robben. Ramos wasn't near the situation, and went to confront him from long distance(20m), and Webb just waived him avay, as he did with Müller.

      / BC

    2. François24/4/14 10:05

      Yes. Penalty clair.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Not for me. Alonso clearly won the ball, we should be praising the Spaniard for some excellent piece of defending.

    5. Anonymous24/4/14 11:57

      BC, you reply to my comment in second, longer part of your comment. As for Isco, it wasn't SPA of course. But Webb gave him some kind of final warning in 17' after two hard fouls. Then such ALMOST SPA should have resulted in yellow card for persistent infringement. Webb only whistled a foul and not managed this situation at all, just whistle and nothing more. It was not the best management to formulate it kindly. And yes, Isco received a yellow card, but it was solely for handball, where Webb had no other option.

      Muller's foul was really bad and contrasted with level of fair play in the whole match. Players avoided such tackles, whilst Muller was reckless in situation that didn't needed that. Yellow card for me.

      I can agree with your point regarding protests.

  17. Anonymous24/4/14 10:34

    What are you talking about?If that is a foul for a penalty we should stop playing football. I dont even see a contact between Xabi and Mueler, watch it again and you will see there was nothing illegal in that situation.

    1. I agree, that was not a penalty in a million years. And for Webb, that was perfectly visible given his angle.. tbh I am not surprised at all that Müller tried to protest anyway.

    2. Anonymous24/4/14 11:43

      "And for Webb, that was perfectly visible given his angle.."

      Niclas, please. You can maybe see the top of Webb's head above second Bayern player shoulder. Here, he was nearly fully obstructed:


      Now, the moment of foul. Howard Webb was not able to see anything, no way (you can hardly see his leg :D )


    3. Webb was able to see that Müller "slipped" or lost the ground under his foot. Adding that to the assistance he probably got from Atkinson, this situation is almost not worth to discuss for my taste.
      Thanks for the screenshots.

    4. Anonymous24/4/14 13:03

      Don't agree Webb was able to see something, being totally obstructed. But OK, it's not worth to discuss if we talk about same decision - that was right, no doubt. It's worth to discuss if we talk about mark and want to praise someone for this call. And for me, the only person who should be praised for that is Atkinson, quod erat demonstrandum.

  18. Müller concedes that it wasn't a penalty.



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