June 7, 2016

EURO 2016 Referee Portrait: Milorad Mažić's Team from Serbia


Full Name: Milorad Mažić
Nation: Serbia
Residence: Novi Sad
Date of Birth: 23/03/1973
Age: 43
Occupation: Director of a Company (Meat Industry)
Hobbies: Sports, Reading, Education
Referee since: 1996
International since: 2009
UEFA Elite Category since: 06/2013
Champions League Matches: 18
Europa League Matches: 15
International Matches (Total): 81
Yellow Card Average (Int.): 4,58 per match
2nd Yellow Card Average (Int.): 0,12 per match
Red Card Average (Int.): 0,12 per match
Domestic First Division Matches: 101 (since 2009)
Biggest Achievements: UEFA Under-17 EURO 2009 (Semifinal), UEFA Under-21 EURO 2011 (Olympic Play-Off), FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2013, UEFA Europa League 2014 Final as 4th Official, FIFA World Cup 2014, selected for UEFA EURO 2016

 What you should know

Milorad Mažić was UEFA's rising star after EURO 2012. For some time, he was appointed for sonorous matches both at Europa League and later also at Champions League level. In the midst of 2013, he was promoted to UEFA's Elite Group having been observed by every member of UEFA's Referee Committee - so, be sure that Mažić was really put through his paces before reaching the highest Referee Category.

In Serbia, Mažić is a famous person in the media (which is no surprise as he is Serbia's no.1 for years having handled the Belgrade derby in almost every occasion of the last years). His anecdotes and experiences gained during his referee career are frequently reported in the media so that his person is - to a certain extent - kind of national pride.

Despite his extroverted personality, the players should be careful: His average of 4,58 Yellow Cards per international game is the highest of all EURO Referees.

Refereeing Style 

Authoritative. Mažić's style is difficult to describe. On the one hand, he presents himself as the partner of the players and displays the image of a sportsman. On the other hand, he maintains a certain distance to the players on the field of play. Above all, his referee style is quite authoritative and strict - this does not mean that there are no freedoms for the game to prosper though. One thing is sure: His personality and refereeing style are unique features and definitely polarizing.

His signs of recognition. A l w a y s in movement. Really always.

His Strengths*

1| Personality, Approach.
2| Game Management, Match Control.
3| Fitness, Stamina.
4| Staying composed, not affected by home crowd.
5| Application of Law 12 and specially the Advantage Rule.

His Points for Improvement* 

1| Reading the game, adapting the approach when needed, identifying problematic players.
2| Unnecessarily hectic and theatralic Body Language, Signals and Movement.
3| Identification and Punishment of the Illegal Use of Arms.
4| Differentiation between deliberate and non-deliberate handballs.
5| Teamwork, distributing responsibilities (particularly with AARs).

*based on our Referee Observation Reports since 2012

His Team > photo

Assistant Referees

Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić
Nation: Serbia
Residence: Belgrade
Date of Birth: 01/05/1974
Age: 42 yo
Occupation: ---
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2009
Champions League Matches: 18
Europa League Matches: 15
International Matches (Total): 71
Domestic First Division Matches: 145 (since 2009)
Biggest Achievements: FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2013 (Round of 16), FIFA World Cup 2014, selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Đurđević
Nation: Serbia
Residence: Kruševac
Date of Birth: 25/03/1973
Age: 43 yo
Occupation: ---
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2011
Champions League Matches: 14
Europa League Matches: 3
International Matches (Total): 45
Domestic First Division Matches: 143 (since 2009)
Biggest Achievements: FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2013 (Round of 16), FIFA World Cup 2014, selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Additional Assistant Referees

Additional AR 1: Danilo Grujić
Nation: Serbia
Residence: Niš
Date of Birth: 03/03/1980
Age: 36 yo
Matches as AAR: 31
International himself? Yes. (Third Group)

Additional AR 2: Nenad Đok
Nation: Serbia
Residence: Užice
Date of Birth: 14/07/1979
Age: 36 yo
Matches as AAR: 7
International himself? Yes. (Third Group)

Reserve Assistant Referee

Reserve AR: Nemanja Petrov
Nation: Serbia
Residence: Užice
Date of Birth: 29/09/1980
Age: 35 yo

Chances at EURO 2016

Mažić is a surprise bag. On his best days, he can play an important role in the last stages of the competition. On his worse days, his EURO could be over after group stage. I hope and believe that he can live up to his best performances of the past, but - at the moment - I think that other Eastern European Referees like Kassai, Marciniak or Skomina are in better shape.

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  1. Serbian team form is for the final. But we could expect this kind of review on this blog. Great inconsistency in describing referees from Western Europe and Eastern Europe, some would even say malicious describing. Good luck to all teams regardless to nationality.

    1. And we could expect this kind of comment ;)

    2. In the WC 2014, Mazic had one ok performance (POR-GER, good match with one crucial mistake), and one disastrous one (ARG-IRN). That seems to confirm what this blog stated, that Mazic can be excellent or terrible, with little middle ground. By the way, what's the last top match in CL/EL he handled? There are referees in much better form in Europe at the moment, that's just a fact judging by the recent appointments. That is not to say that Mazic has no chance, but that he must really shine to hope for a final. Essentially, he has to beat Eriksson, Kuipers, Atkinson, Rizzoli, Brych... Can he do it? Absolutely. Is it likely? Not really.

    3. I must disagree, excelent performance by Serbian team in Manchester Utd - Liverpool, before that in Wolfsburg - Manchester United, all the decisions made in PSG - Man City can be defended because they are borderline. If those matches are not top clashes I am afraid that you did not follow football very well recently. He has to beat Eriksoon? After UL final like that? Please...

    4. ManU-Liverpool was in March, three months ago. He was not selected for any of 10 matches following that. So, I think it is fair to say that, regardless of how well he performed in that EL quarterfinal, his star is not at its brightest in UEFA circles and his international form at least a little rusty.

    5. Thank you for confirming the last sentence point 2. of the "what you should know" section. I was unsure whether Mazic can be seen as a national pride. He can.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. He was in the middle for PSG - Manchester City almost a month later after Man Utd - Liverpool. He was candidate for EL final, but he wasn`t selected at the end. Nevertheless, the goal is to give a portrait, not to compare referees, it`s inapropriate to write that Scomina and Kassai are in better shape. I haven`t seen this kind of comparison on other referees potraits. I am following this blog quite a while, and I can see that administrators of this site have a little tendency to write bad about Mazic.

    8. What exactly is inappropriate about comparisons between referees?

    9. Just to clarify that: In the past, it often happened - at least to my knowledge - that also regional politics and proportional representation played a role in referee appointments (e.g. at the WC 2014 selection process, max. 1 Scandinavian, 1 Eastern European ref etc.). So it might be that the Eastern European referees are also competitives - personally I cannot imagine that we could see Kassai/Skomina/Mazic in the last 3 games as some of the bigger football associations might raise questions. This was the idea behind it.

      Apart from that, thanks for explaining what the goal of our portrait should be - but we define that ourselves.

    10. Bigger football associations are lead by politics, but we (lovers of refereeing) must be objective, that is the central goal of refereeing. This is unnecessery debate, you`re welcome for my constructive criticism, there is always room for improvement ;) Best regards.

  2. Hi Niclas. First of all, thank you for all referee analysis. I am following The 3rd Team for a few years and I know that you are trying to be hard but objective. I had a opportunity to referee in Serbia for a 17 years and I know what is needed to be where Mazic's team is now. Temperament of the people from the Balkan will produce this love-hate relationship with any elite athlete from around, so Mazic and his team are not exception. I hope that some comments make more sense now.
    Good luck to all referees and I would like to see Mazic, Ristic and my friend Djurdjevic in the last part of the tournament.


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