Referee Lubos Michel' bio

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Lubos in the rain
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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.

Slovakian Michel, who used to run a car tyre factory (Pneupex), started his international career in 1995 with a match between San Marino an Albania, two very small football countries, and moved up slowly to lead, for instance, the 2008 Champions League final.

Take a look at his palmares, the list is very long.

WC 2006
Many people expected him to be the one to officiate the final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but because the last four teams were all European as well, only four matches were allocated to Lubos Michel. One being the quarter final Germany - Argentina.

EC 2008
Often regarded as one of the best referees in the world, it came to no surprise that Michel was elected for EURO 2008 in Austria/Switzerland. He took charge of 2 group stage matches and a quarter final.

Looking at his palmares, you'll see that Lubos has quite a high booking average (over 4.5 per game). In the 2006 World Cup Michel ended high in the booking top, just after number one Valentin Ivanov.

And again Lubos was on the 54 member shortlist of candidates for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but then (October 23, 2008) the Slovak Football Association announced he was retiring from international football due to 'personal and health problems'. An Achilles tendon injury seems to be the main health problem. He was recently operated on and had to pass on the WC 2010 qualifier Belgium - Spain to Tom Henning Ovrebo. Missing the 2010 World Championships must be painful for Lubos. He was very much looking forward to the tournament and had meant to end his career only after reaching this peak.

new job
Michel's first new job after football was in football, he is head of Shakhtar's international competitions department.

From our reporter: Ray Miller-Short