Soccer is one of the most widely viewed sports worldwide and the referees help to bring order and discipline to the game, therefore, we have taken some time to review some of the top 10 soccer referees in the world.
The only one in the field in a different color of jersey, but who even notices the referees. Charged with the responsibility of maintaining fair play on the pitch, they carry the game on their shoulders and this is why I think they deserve more accolades.
While most referees are mostly hit with controversies, few of them have maintained a clean record with fewer controversies to deal with.
Most of the top 10 Soccer referees in the world fall within the age of 40s. It is believed that at this age he/she must have gathered the required experience and also the physical energy needed to run up and down the field during a football match.
It is true that controversies make football more fun to watch, some referees always manage to stay unbiased and focused while officiating a game, this is one characteristic of the referees on our list of top 10 soccer referees in the World.
The Top 10 Soccer Referees in the World – 2021
|1||Daniele Orsato||45 years||Italy|
|2||Felix Brych||45 years||Germany|
|3||Bjorn Kuipers||48 years||Netherlands|
|4||Antonio Mateu Lahoz||44 years||Spain|
|5||Damir Skomina||44 years||Slovenia|
|6||Anthony Taylor||42 years||United kingdom|
|7||Nestor Pitana||46 years||Argentina|
|8||Cüneyt Çakır||44 years||Turkey|
|9||Clément Turpin||39 years||France|
|10||Slavko Vinčić||41 years||Slovenia|
10. Slavko Vinčić
Born on 25th November 1979. The Slovenian was listed as FIFA international referee in 2010 and has since featured in top UEFA matches.
He maintains a clean sheet of biased controversy and at the age of 41 with over ten decades of experience as a full international referee for FIFA, he is believed to be shortlisted to officiate in big matches in few years to come.
Notable Records – 12 Champions League matches and 19 Europa League matches including the 2020-21 Champion League quarterfinal between Porto and Chelsea and the 2020-21 Europa League semi-final between Arsenal and Villareal.
9. Clément Turpin
The Frenchman was listed as FIFA referee in 2010 and won the best French referee by the French Football Federation. He is also one of the UEFA elite groups since 2012.
Notable Record: 2020-21, UEFA Europa League Final between Villarreal and Manchester United. 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
8. Cüneyt Çakır
Cakir is one of the big names on this list, having officiated over 250 matches. He stands out as one of the most respected referees in the Turkish Super League.
He is viewed as one of the most accurate and fair referees by FIFA’s statistics.
Notable Record – 2014 Fifa World Cup semi-final between Netherlands and Argentina. 2018 Fifa World Cup semi-final in Moscow between Croatia and England.
7. Nestor Pitana
Pitana is one of the most respected referees not just in southern America but the world generally. The former actor was listed by FIFA in 2010 and has officiated many games on Argentine soil and abroad.
Notable records – At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he became the second referee to officiate an opening game and the final in the same tournament after fellow Argentina Horacio Elizondo, did the same in the 2006 World Cup.
6. Anthony Taylor
Taylor’s early career as a referee began in 2002 in the Northern Premier League from where he went on to become a professional referee in 2010 and got listed by FIFA in 2013.
Notable records – Because of his unbiased decision, Tayor has been chosen to officiate many decisive matches like the 2017 FA cup final. He also was the referee in charge of the Euro 2020 group stage match between Finland and Denmark that saw Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapse on the pitch in the 43rd minute. Taylor was praised for his calm but a quick reaction to the situation, signaling for medical attention within seconds.
5. Damir Skomina
Skomina was listed by FIFA in 2003 and for close to two decades have officiated so many top match fixtures. He was listed as one of the referees at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
Notable records – He officiated the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham and Liverpool at Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on June 1st, 2019 where he awarded a penalty to Liverpool 20 seconds into the match. He also was in charge of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League quarter-final match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, where Bayern Munich won by 8 goals to 2, inflicting Barcelona’s worst defeat in 69 years.
4. Antonio Mateu Lahoz
Known for his “chatty and quirky” approach to refereeing, he is regarded by many as the best Spanish football referee at the time of writing this article. He is known for officiating most of the El Clasicos.
Notable records – 2021 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
3. Bjorn Kuipers
He was listed by FIFA in 2006 and the UEFA ELite group in 2009. The 48-year old supermarket owner has officiated at two World Cups (2014 in Brazil and 2018 in Russia).
Notable records – He was in charge of the 2018 World Cup quarter-final between Sweden and England in Russia. He also officiated at the Euro 2020 final in Wembley between Italy and England.
2. Felix Brych
The German referee is also a lawyer and began his career as a referee in 2004. He was listed by FIFA three years later in 2007 and also as UEFA Elite group. He officiated at the Euro 2020 tournament including the semi-final between Italy and Spain.
Brych is respected for the manner in which he handles controversies while on the pitch, he knows how to maintain fair play.
Notable records – Best Referee of the year 2017 by Globe Soccer Awards. Best Man referee of the decade 2011-2020 and Best Man Referee of the 21st Century 2001–2020 by IFFHS.
1. Daniele Orsato
Orsato was listed as FIFA referee in 2010 and has gone to be one of the most revered referees at the moment. He was appointed a VAR referee for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Notable record – He was awarded the best referee of the year 2020 by IFFHS. He gave out 10 yellow cards in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg matches between Manchester United and PSG and sent off Paul Pogba in the 89th minute.