Referees Top 100 - 2008
Number 1: Peter Fröjdfeldt
A relative latecomer internationally, Peter Fröjdfeldt was considered number two in Sweden behind Anders Frisk until the latter stopped his career after receiving (death) threats in 2005. Frojdfeldt made a great impression in a relatively short time from 2001 till the end of 2008, when he reached the retirement age of 45.
Number 2: Roberto Rosetti
Roberto Rosetti was widely believed to be one of the world's best referees of his time. He was known as a strict man - the regulations were his bible - but also as a good communicator. He talked a lot to the players and had no problem getting his points across.
Number 3: Frank de Bleeckere
A third generation referee, Belgian Frank de Bleeckere started as a football player, but too often injured he decided to change his career. Belgian's World Cup record holder with 7 matches had to retire at the end of 2011 because of the age limit.
Number 4: Herbert Fandel
In 1979, when he was 14, Herbert Fandel passed his referee examns and started his climb up the ladder, up towards the First Bundesliga in 1996 and a FIFA badge in 1998. He was a UEFA Elite Category referee until he retired internationally in 2009.
Number 5: Jorge Larrionda
This referee, full name Jorge Luis Larrionda Pietrafiesa, was born 9 March 1968. Jorge was a football player himself, as striker he made it into the sixth division. As referee he made his debut in the first division in 1993 and was an international referee since 1998. He was seen by many as the very best referee in South America.
Larrionda retired at the end of 2011.
Number 6: Kyros Vassaras
For many years Greek Kyros Vassaras has been at the top. In spite of his experience and impressive career he missed the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany because one of his assistants didn't pass the test. Kyros retired April 2009.
Number 7: Claus Bo Larsen
It came as a bit of a shock for everybody in Denmark (and himself), when it turned out Claus Bo Larsen, who did pass the fitness test and was on the long list of 44, was not selected to officiate at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. The same happened for Euro 2008, and again for WC 2010. The Danes must be very bad lobbyists. Larsen was a UEFA Elite Category referee until he retired at the end of 2010.
Number 8: Lubos Michel'
Born in the then Republic of Czecho-Slovakia in 1968, Lubos Michel had an impressive career as a referee and he was considered one of the world's best. He was only 25 when he became a FIFA referee.
Number 9: Massimo Busacca
Born in the town of Belinzona in 1969 Massimo Busacca, who used to play football in a lower division in Ticino, started his career as a referee in 1990 and made it to the first division in 1996 . He got his FIFA badge in 1999 and was an Elite Category referee until June 2011 when he decided to retire after having seen it all and having been offered a good job.
Number 10: Jerome Damon
Jerome Damon was born in South Africa in 1972. He was an international referee between 2000 and 2012. He was active in 4 Africa Cups. The first one in Tunisia in 2004, then Egypt (2006), Ghana (2008) and his 4th was Angola 2010 where he got a semi-final.
Number 11: Olegario Benquerenca
Whatever you say about Olegario Benquerenca, you can't say he is boring. The Portuguese 2010 World Cup quarter-final referee who often ends up on both our best and worst referees list, has a style of his own. Whether it's on TV or on the field, Olegario is always a little campy.
Number 12: Yuichi Nishimura
Yuichi Nishimura officiated in the 2007 AFC Asia Cup. The same year he took charge of a quarter final and the final of the U17 World Cup in Korea, a match ending in a penalty shoot out won by Nigeria against Spain.
Number 13: Kristinn Jakobsson
After having taken charge of the final of the 2006 u19 Euro Championships and qualifiers for large tournaments and the Champions League, Kristinn Jakobsson, one of Worldrefere's reporter's favorites, made a giant leap forward in 2008 with reaching the group stage of the Champions league. He was on the UEFA premier referees list, but when that category disappeared Jakobsson ended on the 1st category list
Number 14: Michael Koukoulakis
Michalis Koukoulakis was born in 1975 in Heraclion, Crete.
He graduated the School of Referees of Heraclion (Crete Association) in 1992.
Tall with his 1.90 and a doctor of medicine.
He started refereeing in the Greek Superleague in 2004.
UEFA Category 1 referee Michalis Koukoulakis is a FIFA Referee since 1-1-2008.
Number 15: Luis Medina Cantalejo
Refereeing runs in the family of Medina Cantalejo, Luis' father and grandfather were also referees. When young Luis Medina Cantalejo was a football player in the Spanish third division, and when playing took too much of the time he needed to study, he decided to change to refereeing as well.
His first Primera Division match was in 1998.
He was an Elite Category referee and retired internationally in 2009.
Number 16: Tom Henning Ovrebo
FIFA badge holder from 1994until May 2010, Norwegian UEFA Elite Category referee Tom Henning Øvrebø took charge of 25 Champions League matches. At first he practiced as an assistant referee to Terje Hauge
(who climbed to the top a bit faster).
Number 17: Manuel Mejuto González
Member of the Elite Category, Manuel Enrique Mejuto González is one of Europe's most experienced referees. He was born in la Felguera in the region of Asturias in Northern Spain. Being the successful international referee that he is, Manuel travels a lot. And always in the company of his match whistle, the one with a little virgin of Covadonga pending from it. Manuel's friends call him Quique.
Number 18: Martin Ingvarsson
Somewhat of a verteran in the margin of international football, Martin Ingvarsson officiated in many matches. Among them were qualifiers for the Champions League, Euro 2008 (1) and UEFA Cup matches.
He was a UEFA category 2 referee until his retiremet because of his age at the end of 2010..
Number 19: Wolfgang Stark
Bank employee Wolgang Stark from Bavaria already knew he wanted to become a referee when he was 14. In 1994 he reached the highest level in Germany, and in 1999 he got his FIFA license, at almost 30.
He is a UEFA Elite Category referee.
Number 20: Konrad Plautz
Retired UEFA Elite Category referee Konrad Plautz passed his referee's exam in 1984. He was an assistant referee in the Austrian Bundesliga from August 1989 till July 1991. Since August 1991 he is one of the regular officials in Austria's top league, the Bundesliga.
He received his FIFA badge in 1996, and from the year 2000 he was listed as one of the 30 'UEFA Top Class Referees'. He retired (nationally and internationally) at the end of 2009.
Number 21: Eric Braamhaar
This Dutch referee, who works for the Dutch football association, taking care of other referees and scouting for new ones, took charge of the World Cup u17 final after one year as an international referee. He was a UEFA Elite Category referee, was demoted to the Premier category at the start of season 2009-2010 and again to the 1st category in 2011, his last year as a FIFA ref.
Number 22: Leonardo Gaciba da Silva
Gaciba started his career in 1998 in the local league of his birthplace Pelotas. He officiated the final of that rather obscure 'Colonial de Pelotas' league when he was just 18 years old.
His international career didn't go that well: he got his FIFA badge in 2005 but lost it again for failing the fitness test at the start of 2010. Our Brazilian correspondent assured us Gaciba would be back, but in September 2010 Gaciba yet again failed the test, his last chance so it seems.
Number 23: Alexandru Dan Tudor
In UEFA and FIFA rankings, Alexandru Tudor is the best Romanian referee. Dan Tudor became a UEFA Premier Category referee at the start of season 2010-2011, 6 moths later that category seemed to have disappeared, he now is a 1st category ref.
Number 24: Matteo Simone Trefoloni
Matteo Trefoloni reached the Serie A in 2001 and became a FIFA referee in 2004. He was an Elite Category ref, but was demoted to UEFA Premier Category referee, when he heard he would be put back into the Serie B starting season 2010 - 2011, he quit.
Number 25: Óscar Ruiz
Born in 1969 in the Colombian town of Villaviciencio (Meta province), Óscar Julian Ruiz Acosta grew up a son of a referee.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee. Ruiz retired in 2011.
Number 26: Laurent Duhamel
Rouen born Duhamel is a referee since 1984. He received his Fifa badge in 1999 and is an UEFA Elite Category referee since 2006 but what many of our reporters saw coming: he was demoted to the 1st category in 2012.
Number 27: Eddy Maillet
Almost the only way for a tiny nation like the Seychelles to achieve anything at all in international football is to get a referee selected to officiate in big tournaments. Luckily the Seychelles have Eddy Maillet.
Number 28: Hector Baldassi
Héctor Walter Baldassi was born in Córdoba, Argentina. He started refereeing when he was 25, and was promoted to the Argentinian football league's 1st division in 1998.
He was a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee until the end of 2011, when he had to retire (45)
Number 29: Viktor Kassai
This Hungarian referee debuted in the first league in 1999 He received his FIFA badge in 2003 and immediately started refereeing UEFA Cup matches. Kassai is an UEFA Elite Category referee.
Number 30: Djamel Haimoudi
Haimoudi is becoming one of Africa's top referees. He took charge of qualifiers for the World Cup, the CAF Champions League, three African Nations Cups and the 2011 World Cup u20..
Number 31: Martín Vazquez
Behind top referee Jorge Larrionda
, Martin Emilio Vázquez Broquetas has been Uruquay's second choice for quite a while.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.
Number 32: Damir Skomina
Malta, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Far Oer, Anothosis Famagusta, Rabotnicki Kometal, Debreceni VSC, names of some of the teams Slovenian referee Skomina encountered at the start of his international career. But since the 2009/10 season he belongs to the elite category. Two years later he was assigned the CL quarter-final Chelsea vs Benfica.
Number 33: Masoud Moradi
This elite referee is well experienced internationally. He officiated at the 2003 Confederations Cup, Asia Cups (final 2009) and many AFC Champions League matches.
Number 34: Serge Gumienny
This Belgian referee, who not only officiates in Belgium, but also - like his colleagues - sometimes in the Netherlands, has taken charge of international matches since 2003. In 2009 he was promoted to a Premier (now Elite Development) Development referee which meant he had a chance to move up, but got stuck there and was demoted to the 1st category in 2012.
Number 35: Christoforos Zografos
Qualifiers, youth matches and one 1st round match in the UEFA Cup. Christoforos Zografos has been a FIFA referee from 2004 till the end of 2008. Apparently he failed the obligatory Cooper test.
Number 36: Sándor Andó-Szabó
Sandor Szabo is a UEFA Category 2 referee. (since 2010, he is called Ando-Szabo on the FIFA list).
Number 37: César Muniz Fernandez
Born in Brussels, Belgium, Cesar Muniz Fernandez became interested in refereeing at the age of 16. Although he was busy internationally he was demoted from category 2 to 3 in 2011, but that category was changed to 2 6 months later. Hah!
Number 38: Carlos Chandía
Chilean referee Carlos Chandía started playing football at the age of 5 and almost made it as a professional playing 5 years for a team called Nublense. He quit mainly for economical reasons and started a career in refereeing and a family. The number one referee in Chile made it to the 2006 World Cup finals albeit as a substitute and didn't get to officiate a match. He retired in at the end of 2009, the year he turned 45.
Number 39: Pavel Kralovec
Pavel Kralovec slowly built his international career. First with qualifiers (UEFA Cup, Euro 2008, CL) and a few UEFA cup matches. Then finally in 2011, the Champions League.
Number 40: Pieter Vink
Vink started as a referee in 1987 and reached the top in the Netherlands in 2001.
A police officer for almost 20 years but now a full-time referee, Vink received his FIFA badge in 2004 and was added to the UEFA list of 24 elite refs in June 2007. At that time the youngest elite referee in Europe.
Number 41: Terje Hauge
Norwegian Terje Hauge held a FIFA license since 1993. His international career really started in the 2002 World Cup in Japan/ Korea. He was a UEFA elite category ref until he retired at 45 at the end of 2010.
Number 42: Koman Coulibaly
Former student at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Économiques Koman Coulibaly has been busy since he started his referee career in 1993. He received his FIFA badge at the early age of 28.
Number 43: Douglas McDonald
After suffering a serious knee injury, Dougie McDonald wanted to continue in football and so: he started refereeing.
He officiated his first international match in 1994 and earned his FIFA badge in 2000 and retired because of the age limit at the end of 2010.
Number 44: Paolo Tagliavento
New on the international stage in 2007, with only a qualifier to his name, Paolo Tagliavento got to officiate the final in the Region's Cup, a tournament for amateur footballers. Amateurs, sure, but still a final.
He is a UEFA Elite category referee from 2012.
Number 45: Howard Webb
The career of UEFA Elite Category referee Howard Webb hasn't gone that smoothly, still it didn't take him long to reach the top. And the top was in 2010 with not only the CL final but also the final of the World Cup.
Number 46: Abderrahim El Arjoun
Abderrahim El Arjoun was selected for the African Cup of Nations 2000 in Ghana/Nigeria, for 2006 in Egypt and for the Africa Cup 2008 in Ghana. He was an international referee for a long time, from 1994 till the end of 2008, when he reached the retirement age of 45.
Number 47: Lucilio Baptista
Batista is the name you'll find on the official FIFA site and thus on every other foreign site that is not Portuguese. Most Portuguese sites however (and the connoisseur of Portuguese refereeing, Alberto Helder) write his name with a p: Baptista.
Lucílio Cardoso Cortês Baptista was a UEFA premier category referee and retired at the start of season 2010-2011.
Number 48: Carlos Eugenio Simón
This referee, full name Carlos Eugenio Simón, was born on the 3rd of September 1965 in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He refereed his first match while still at college. The team he played in went out of the college tournament and he was free to referee some matches. He liked it and one of his teachers incited him to do an actual refereeing course.
Number 49: Alan Kelly
According to forum writers and bloggers Alan Kelly has a bright future as a referee. He started internationally in 2002, has been officiating qualifiers for UEFA Cup, Champions League, 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. But not only qualifiers, slowly he is making his way up with UEFA Cup first round matches. See palmares for Alan Kelly
Number 50: Ivan Bebek
Ivan Bebek became a referee in the first league when his father was chief of the referees commission. At that time he was only 23.
Bebek was a Premier category referee which meant he had a chance to move up to become an Elite ref, but halfway 2011 he was put back in the first category.
Number 51: Stéphane Lannoy
Stéphane Lannoy is a French federation referee since 1998. Lannoy played football until he was 20, didn't think he was good enough to become a professional and turned to refereeing instead. Something he had been doing already, while playing.
Number 52: Felix Brych
Felix Brych. The German referee is a doctor in law. His paper was about sports. Brych was promoted to the elite category at the start of season 2009-2010
Number 53: Muhmed Ssegonga
Muhmed Ssegonga has been in football since he was 13.
He had a FIFA badge between 2003 and 2012.
In his civil life Ssegonga is a Senior Procurement Officer in the Procurement and Disposal Unit of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Uganda.
Number 54: Coffi Codjia
Bonaventura Coffi Codjia was born the 9th of December 1967 in Segboroue, Benin. Son of a Benin father and a mother from Chad, already at the age of 16 he started a career in refereeing. In 1994 he became an international referee, ten years later he was the most important in Africa. He retired officially at the end of 2011, but he quit before that.
Number 55: Marco Rodriguez
Mexican Marco Antonio Rodriguez Moreno wasn't FIFA's first choice for the World Cup 2006. Four other referees were put aside for various reasons before eventually Rodriguez (only 32) was selected.
Number 56: Badara Diatta
Badara Diatta has been an international referee since 1999. His list of matches is long. There was the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, at the last one he took charge of the final.
Number 57: Stanislav Sukhina
Eventhough he is nowhere near the top according to Russian sports sites, he became a FIFA referee in 2003. He officiated in friendlies and qualifiers and reached the UEFA Cup group stage in 2008.
Sukhina was a UEFA category 2 referee but got demoted to 3 in 2011, but then the categories were recategorized and he's back in the 2nd.
Sukhina decided to retire from refereeing in May 2012.
Number 58: Jair Marrufo
Son of Mexican referee Antonio Marrufo Mendoza
, Major League Soccer referee Jair Marrufo, having his FIFA badge for only one year and with no international experience to speak of, is already on the long list of referees for the 2010 World Cup.
Number 59: Thomas Einwaller
Thomas Einwaller was a referee since June 1992. He started refereeing in the Austrian Bundesliga in July 2001 and is also active in the Swiss competition. He had his FIFA badge from 2005 until 2012. He was a Premier development category ref.
Number 60: Fritz Stuchlik
Fritz Stuchlik always knew he wanted to become a referee. He took his exams at 17, worked his way up to the National 'Bundes' League and got his FIFA badge in 1994.
Number 61: Víctor Rivera
Victor Hugo Rivera Chavez is active in the first Division since 1997. He received his Fifa badge in 2001.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.
Number 62: Vladimir Hrinak
Hrinak started refereeing in 1982 and became an international in 1993.
He refereed a great number of UEFA Cup matches, a few Champions League matches and qualifiers for big tournaments. He retired at 45 at the end of 2009. He died suddenly in 25. July 2012.
Number 63: Carlos Amarilla
International referee since 1997, electrical engineer Carlos Arecio Amarilla Demarqui has seen it all: youth tournaments, qualifiers, semi-finals, finals and even World Cup matches.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.
Number 64: Michael Hester
Michael Hester is active as referee in New Zealand and Australia.
In 2007 he became internationally active with matches for the South Pacific Games and Olympic Qualifiers in Fiji.
Number 65: Alain Hamer
A referee from a small country like Luxembourg will never get enough experience to be in charge of a Champions League match, or even become a FIFA badge holder. But Hamer got the chance to officiate matches in Belgium (a somewhat bigger country than Luxembourg) and especially in the French Ligue 1.
Hamer had a long and impressive career. He was a UEFA Elite Category referee and retired at 45 at the end of 2010.
Number 66: Modou Sowe
Modou Sowe was an international referee from 1998 till the end of 2008, when he reached the retirement age of 45. He took charge of many qualifiers, Cup of Nations matches and matches in the AFC Champions League.
Number 67: Florian Meyer
Active in the Bundesliga since 1998, international in 2002, Florian Meyer took charge of his fist Champions League already in 2004. Next to a group stage CL match or two a year, the German referee is also active in the UEFA cup. He is a UEFA Elite Category referee, but not a very busy one.
Number 68: Joel Aguilar
Joel Aguilar was selected to officiate at the World Cup u20 2007 in Canada, the u17 2007 in Korea and the u20 2009 in Egypt. He has been very busy in every tournament of importance of the CONCACAF.
Number 69: Roberto Silvera
For years Roberto Carlos Silvera Calcerrada, together with his compatriot Martín Vázquez, was considered the numbers two and three referee after Jorge Larrionda.
Until Larrionda retired. Now the CONMEBOL Elite category referee is the most important ref from Uruguay.
Number 70: Radek Matejek
In the Czech Republic, Radek Matejek wss considered the best referee of 2006 in his country. He has been active internationally in qualifiers and 1st rounds of the UEFA Cup. The group UEFA Cup group stage match December 2008, could mean a step up the ladder for him.
He was a UEFA Category 2 referee, now 3.
Number 71: Alon Yefet
Isreal's Alon Yefet, who earned his FIFA badge in 2002, has been officiating qualifiers, UEFA Cup matches and a Champions League match or two since 2003. He moved up to the UEFA Premier category at the start of season 2010-2011 and when that category disappeared 6 months later he became a 1st category ref.
Number 72: Oleh Oriekhov
There seems to be a small misunderstanding about his name: FIFA calls him Oriekhov and EUFA Orekhov, but it doesn't really matter anymore since he was suspended for life by UEFA, march 2010. Oriekhov was a UEFA Category 2 referee.
Number 73: Jouni Hyytiä
This Finnish referee held a FIFA badge for 13 years: from 1997 till the end of 2009 when he retired because of his age. He was a UEFA category 2 referee.
Number 74: Istvan Vad
This Hungarian referee appeared on the international stage in 2007 with a qualifier for the Champions League and one for the UEFA cup. A promising start.
In October 2010 Vad, while still only a UEFA category 2 referee, got assigned to Champions League group stage match.
From season 2012-2013, Vad is a UEFA Elite Development category referee.
Number 75: Daniel Bennett
African Cup of Nations 2010 and 2012. The Club World Cup, CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, many qualifiers for the World Cup. This South African referee was not selected for the World Cup in his own country, though.
Number 76: Mohamed Benouza
Algerians expected their best referee to represent Africa at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but since he was still young and had a whole career in front of him, older referees were sent by the African Confederation. His selection for the 2010 World Cup did not come as a surprise.
Number 77: Darko Ceferin
Born in Kranj, 20 km near Slovenian capital Ljubljana, Darko Ceferin started his refereeing career in 1992 and officiated his first 1st division match in 1996. In 2000 he got his FIFA badge. He was a premier referee but was demoted in 2011 and put in the first class, maybe that is why he retired at the end of that year.
Number 78: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Alberto Undiano Mallenco made his debut in the Primera Division in
October 2000 at the early age of 26. From 2004 and on he officiated in UEFA Cup matches and qualifiers. Mallenco got his first Champions League match in 2007, and a big one too: Bayern vs Spartak Moscow. That was the year he became an Elite Category referee.
Number 79: Kokou Djaoupé
Very busy in 2009 with World Cup qualifiers, Kokou Djaoupe took charge of a match in his second African Cup of Nations tournament held in Angola, 2010. His first one was in 2008.
Number 80: Claudio Circhetta
Swiss referee Cladio Circhetta played football in a junior league for over 20 years, was a referee from 1988 and officiated in the highest Swiss competition from 2000. In 2005 he earned his FIFA badge. Cichetta retired at the end of 2010 when he got offered the job of Swiss referee's chief (full time).
Number 81: Kacem Bennaceur
Kacem Bennaceur received his FIFA badge in 2004 and was selected for the Africa Cups 2008 in Ghana and 2010 in Angola.
Number 82: Carlos Torres Núñez
Torres started refereeing for Paraguay's top federation APF in 1990 and received his FIFA badge in 1998. His father Juan and his brother Luis were also referees. He officiated matches in all South-American cups and in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. His heroes are Horacio Elizondo ('the only one in history to officiate both the opening match and the final in a World Cup'), Juan Francisco Escobar ('A big personality on the field') and of course his father, Juan Anselmo Torres, a man he's always tried to emulate. He lives with his parents in the Sajonia area of Asuncion.
Number 83: Grzegorz Gilewski
When Grzegorz Gilewski started internationally he immediately took charge of a 1st round UEFA Cup match. A year later he reached the 2nd round and he steadily worked his way up. From 2007 he officiated matches in the group stage of the Champions league, in December 2008 he lost it all again when he was charged of match fixing.
Number 84: Nicola Rizzoli
Nicola Rizzoli is active in the Italian Serie A since 2002. In 2007 he received his FIFA badge and in August of that year he started with a CL qualifier. After only a year and a half
he took charge of a Champions League group stage match. Rizzoli was promoted to the elite category at the beginning of season 2009-2010.
Number 85: Duarte Gomes
His full name is Duarte Nuno Pereira Gomes. He is a UEFA category 1 referee. And as you can see from his palmares, he is getting more matches 2010 lately (2010).
Number 86: Julian Rodriguez Santiago
Spaniard Julian Rodriguez Santiago made his debut in the primera division in 1998. He was a FIFA referee between 2003 and 2009, he officiated in UEFA Cup matches and qualifiers.
Number 87: Malik Abdul Bashir
Malik Abdul Bashir is what FIFA calls him. In Asia his name is Abdul Malik, which makes more sense.
This AFC Elite referee took charge of the first leg of the 2008 AFC Champions League final.
Number 88: Roberto Moreno
It didn't take Panama referee Roberto Moreno long to reach the Professional National League after he started in 1989. His first international match was FAS (El Salvador) vs Municipal (Guatemala) in 1998.
Number 89: Rubén Selman
Rubén Selman was born in 1963, started refereeing at his 20s in the Chilean minor divisions and only in the 1990 decade he started in the 1st division. In 1998 he got his FIFA badge and appeared in CONMEBOL tournaments. He refereed in Copa Libertadores, Copa Mercosur, Copa Sudamericana and also international friendlies and World Cup preliminaries.
Number 90: Martin Hansson
Martin Hansson started refereeing when he was 15 with his own club and earned his FIFA badge just before his 30th birthday. Steadily he moved up from UEFA Cup qualifiers to Champions League matches, every year a little further up the ladder. The firefighter from Holmsjo officiated the finals of the EURO U21 and the 2008 Confederations Cup.
Number 91: Bernhard Brugger
Bernhard Brugger, active as referee since 1982, received his FIFA badge in 1999. He was a UEFA Category 3 referee but got demoted to 4 (which was changed to 3) in 2011, his last year on the FIFA panel due to age restrictions.
Number 92: Sergio Pezzotta
Born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Sergio Fabián Pezzotta is an international top referee and one of the most severe referees in the AFA League. He tends to show red cards whenever the rules allow him to. He started refereeing in Argentina´s 1st division in 1999.
He used to be a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee until he retired in 2012 because of his age.
Number 93: Stefan Johannesson
Qualifiers and a Europa League (UEFA Cup) group stage matches. See his palmares
The round of 32 match, February 2009, was a step up.
Another was a Champions League group stage match in 2011. But...
Number 94: Zsolt Szabo
Since his international debut in 1999, Zsolt Szabo had quite a career albeit on a "lower" level. He took charge of matches in under 21/19/18 finals, in the Uefa Cup and in qualifiers for the Champions League, the 2006 World Cup(2) and the 2008 European Cup.
Number 95: Baldomero Toledo
Mexican born Baldomero Toledo came to the United States at the age of 17. Climbing up the ladder in Californian "soccer" he could quit his day job as an assitant manager in a bakery plant to become one of the four professional MLS referees in 2007. That year he also got his FIFA badge.
Number 96: Sálvio Spínola Fagundes Filho
Copa libertadores, a quarter final and a semi final in the u17 World cup in Korea 2007 and the 2011 Copa América Final
He was a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee until November 2011 when he retired
Number 97: Sten Kaldma
Most of Estonian Sten Kaldma's international matches were qualifiers. Until 2002 he occasionally took charge of a proper UEFA Cup match. Then it was back to qualifiers again for five years. In 2007 he reached the group stage for the first time.
He was a UEFA Category 3 referee until he retired at the end of 2009.
Number 98: Costas Kapitanis
Famagusta born Costas Kapitanis was active internationally from 1996 and was labelled by UEFA as one of their premier referees. He started his career with a youth tournament and his 17 yellows in three matches were a sign of things to come. Kapitanis once reached the Champions League (which is hard for a ref from Cyprus) and retired at 45 at the end of 2009.
Number 99: René Ortubé
Bolivian René Marcelo Ortubé Betancourt was born in La Paz in 1964. He was a successful international referee from 1992 till the end of 2009 (18 years!) when he had to retire because of his age. Rene (sometimes Marcelo) then also retired from the national competition.
Number 100: Angel Angelov
Like many other referees Angelov's football career ended by injury, so he decided to take up the whistle like his father and uncle who were both international referees. He was off the FIFA panel at the start of 2012.
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Bummer! Just outside our top 100: Peter Rasmussen
This Danish referee has just started his international career and follows in the footsteps (stands on the shoulders) of giants Claus Bo Larsen
and, of course, Kim Milton Nielsen
. Rasmussen took charge of qualifiers for the UEFA Cup and such. In those matches the Dane hardly showed a card.
Rasmussen became a UEFA Elite Development category ref in 2012.