Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz is a highly regarded Spanish football referee. He was born on March 12, 1977, in Alboraya, Valencia, Spain. Known for his unique refereeing style, Mateu Lahoz is often praised for his ability to communicate effectively with players and for his distinct, flamboyant style on the field.
Mateu Lahoz began refereeing at a young age in the Valencian Community, quickly climbing the ranks due to his exceptional performances. He officiated his first match in La Liga, the top division of Spanish football, in the 2008-2009 season. His competence on the domestic stage led him to be appointed to the FIFA International Referees List in 2011, allowing him to referee high-profile matches in international competitions.
On the international stage, Mateu Lahoz has officiated in various important competitions including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and the FIFA World Cup. Notably, he was chosen to referee the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
Mateu Lahoz is known for his leniency in comparison to many of his contemporaries, preferring to let the game flow and often refraining from issuing cards unless necessary. This approach, combined with his theatrical gesticulations and open communication style with players, makes him a distinctive figure in football refereeing.
As of my last training data in September 2021, Mateu Lahoz continues to referee at the highest levels of international football and has gained widespread respect from players, managers, and fans for his handling of matches. However, his unique style of officiating has also led to controversies and criticism from some quarters.