Referees Top 10 - 2010
Number 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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.
dynamically generated by WorldReferee
Bummer! Just outside our top 10: Pedro Proença
His full name is Pedro Proença Oliveira Alves Garcia. In the First division since 1998, international since 2003. Already a year later he officiated the final in the Euro u19.
Always one step behind Olegario Benquerenca until 2012. That was his year: he got the CL final, was selected for the European Championship and got that final as well.