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Referees Top 100 - 2009

Number 1: 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 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: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Bjorn Kuipers

As a son of a referee Bjorn Kuipers decided early in his life to become a referee as well.

Number 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 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: 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.

Number 15: 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 16: 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 17: Felix Brych

It's doctor 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 18: 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 19: 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 20: 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 21: Benito Archundia

Born in 1966, Benito Armando Archundia Tellez became an international referee in 1993 and retired at the end of 2010.

Number 22: Pablo Pozo

Pablo Antonio Pozo Quiteros was a football player for a short while, playing with a team called Magallanes. One day the team captain told Pablo that he, unlike his brother Mauricio, would not be promoted to the next level, so from that day on Pozo chose to wear black instead, following the footsteps of his father, who was a professional referee. He was 17 at the time. Six years later he reached the first division.

Number 23: Manuel Jorge de Sousa

Manuel Jorge Neves Moreira de Sousa is a promising Portuguese referee who seems to be stuck in the middle regions of the Europa League. He has been active internationally since 2006.

Number 24: 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 25: 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 26: 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 27: David Malcolm

An important man in the Northern-Irish referee world, but not so much in international football. David Malcolm took charge of mainly qualifiers and since 2007 he was also active in the first round of the UEFA Cup.
Malcolm was a UEFA Category 3 referee until he retired internationally at the end of 2010 a few years short of the compulsery 45 retirement age.

Number 28: 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 29: 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 30: Kevin Blom

On February 20, 2004 Kevin Blom refereed his first match in the Eredivisie (the top Dutch league). He received his FIFA badge a year later. When he is not on the field he educates young referees together with Pieter Vink

Number 31: 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 32: 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 33: Paulo César de Oliveira

Paulo Cesar de Oliveira received his FIFA badge in 1999 and was ranked number one by the Brazilian Football association in 2007.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee.

Number 34: Matthew Breeze

Austarlian Matthew Breeze started his career as a referee in 1991. Ten years later he was first selected for the FIFA international referees' list.

Number 35: 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 36: Robert Malek

Robert Malek, one of worldref's favorites in 2007, received his FIFA badge in 2001, was added to UEFA's Premier List in January 2007, but demoted to the Premier Development category in 2009 and further down to category 1 in 2011.

Number 37: Alexei Nikolaev

Nikolaev entered the international stage in 2007 and in 2008 he already officiated (fairly) important qulifiers and UEFA Cup matches. Nikolaev's career seems to go a little faster that that of most Russian referees.
He moved up to the UEFA elite category at the start of 2011 and back down again to the 1st category a year later.

Number 38: 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 39: 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 40: Saúl Laverni

Saúl Esteban Laverni, born in Rosario, Santa Fe, is an international referee since January 2007, and is also one of the biggest promises of the Argentinian Referee Staff.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee.

Number 41: 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 42: 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 43: Anastasios Kakos

Anastasios Kakos got onto the list in 2008 and has already refereed in the UEFA cup, U21 and U17 qualifiers. From the start of 2010 he is promoted to a UEFA Category 1 referee.

Number 44: 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 45: Gianluca Rocchi

Gianlucca Rocchi moved up from a Premier Development Category referee to the Elite group at the start of the season 2010 - 2011. Only a season later he got a quarter-final Real Madrid vs APOEL.

Number 46: 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 47: 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 48: Mark Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg refereed his 1st Football League match at the age of just 25 - a post-war milestone at the time. He had served only one year as an assistant - a record shared with Steve Baines.

Number 49: 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 50: Knut Kircher

Officiating in the Bundesliga since 2002, and Fifa referee since 2004, the tall (196 m) German, was a Premier list referee, just one step behind the elite corps, but got demoted to the Category 2 (now 1) at the start of season 2010-2011 and 6 months later back to 2.

Number 51: Peter O'Leary

In 1994, like a lot of his colleagues, this secondary school science teacher from Wellington, New-Zealand, picked up a whistle to take charge of matches when he realized he wasn't good enough a player.

Number 52: Paul Allaerts

Paul Allaerts became a referee in 1985 and made his debut in the highest Belgian league in 1996. He was one of UEFA's premier referees and has been that for a long time, never able to reach the elite category. Allaerts retired at the end of 2009, when he was 45.

Number 53: Alexey Kulbakov

Belarussian is not Russian so there may be a misunderstanding about his name: sometimes it is written as Aliaksei Kulbakou. Kulbakov has been international since 2005 (it's a guess) and has been taking charge of qualifiers and even preliminaries to qualifiers.
Kulbakov is a UEFA category 1 referee.

Number 54: 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 55: Bruno Paixão

August 2007 must have been an important month for Bruno Miguel Duarte Peixao', when he first officiated the Supertaça (Sporting won 1-0 to Porto) and then another qualifier for the UEFA cup. The Portuguese, who was promoted to the highest division in 1997, became a FIFA referee in 2004.

Number 56: 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 57: 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 58: Michael Leslie Dean

Mike Dean started refereeing in 1985 to keep fit after he finished a job and had nothing to do. It took him 15 years to become a referee in the Premier League. He went from junior football on Sunday mornings, to a local league, to entering the Football Leaugue as a linesman in 1997. A year later he resumed refereeing and was promoted to the Premier league in 2000. He earned his FIFA badge in 2003.

Number 59: William Collum

William Collum appeared on the Scottish FA List in January 2000. He was promoted to the Scottish Category 1 in may 2004 and received his FIFA badge in 2006. He moved up to the UEFA Elite Category in July 2012.

Number 60: 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 61: Silviu Petrescu

In his native country Romania, Silviu refereed up to the second division. His promotion to the first division was blocked by a former chairman of the Romanian Referees Committee in the mid-90s. Disapointed about these backstage games Petrescu immigrated with his wife to Canada in 1995

Number 62: Stelios Trifonos

Cyprus referee Stelios Trifonos, who officiates matches since 1994, earned his FIFA badge in 2005, when he was 37, rather late. He took charge of a qualifier for the Champions League in 2007. And was off the FIFA list n 2012.

Number 63: Enrique Osses

Osses is known as one of the toughest referees in Chile. In 2005 for instance he sent off 21 players in 16 league games.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee.

Number 64: 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 65: 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 66: Wilson Luiz Seneme

Wilson Luiz Seneme was a FIFA ref since 2006, lost his badge in 2008 because of an injury and got back on the list in 2009.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.

Number 67: Iouri Baskakov

Baskakov is referee from 1986. From 1996 he is active in the Russian First Division and he was a FIFA ref from 1998 until the end of 2009. He was an Elite Category referee.

Number 68: Víctor Carrillo

Víctor Hugo Carrillo got interested in refereeing when he was 18 years old. He was influenced by his father who also was a referee. Carrillo received his FIFA Badge in 2005.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.

Number 69: Antonio Arias Alvarenga

Because of his style, Antonio Javier Arias nickname is Castrilli, after the famous Argentinian ref Javier Castrilli (who's nickname was The Sheriff). Arias Alvarenga was born in Puerto Casado and became a referee in 1992.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.

Number 70: Michael Riley

Born in Rotherham, living near Leeds, the number 17 referee of the world in 2006 Michael Riley had a quick start in his career that later on seemed to have been stalled a bit. He was a UEFA Elite Category referee until halfway 2009 when he retired and became the General Manager Designate of the PGMOL.

Number 71: Carlos Velasco Carballo

New on the international Stage, Carlos Velasco Carballo took the place od Carlos Megia Davila who retired in 2007. Velasco Carballo had his debur in the Spanish Primera Division in 1994

Number 72: 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 73: 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 74: Nikolay Ivanov

Leningrad born Nikolay Ivanov is often confused with his fellow countryman Valentin Ivanov. Nikolay started refereeing in 1981 and earned his international badge in 2000. He was on the UEFA premier referees list until he had to retire at the end of 2009.

Number 75: 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 76: Ravshan Irmatov

Ravshan Irmatov has been very busy in 2009 and 2010, officiating at youth tournaments, qualifiers, the AFC Champions League and the World Cup

Number 77: 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 78: Martin Atkinson

Martin Atkinson started his career at the early age of 16.

Number 79: 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 80: 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 81: Terry Vaughn

Terry Vaughn has been involved in soccer his whole life. Vaughn has been a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Referee since 1987, beginning his playing and officiating career in Iowa City.

Number 82: 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 83: Federico Jose Beligoy

Federico José Beligoy was born in Buenos Aires on October 13th, 1969. His father was also a referee. He´s married and the father of 3 children. He became referee in 1992 and his first game in 1st division was in september 2004, played by Colón de Santa Fe and Estudiantes de La Plata.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee.

Number 84: 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 85: 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 86: Carlos Galeano

Carlos Galeano Rios has been active at the U-15 South American Championship in Brasil 2007. And the Copas (Sudamericana, Libertadores) already a year later in 2008, which meant his career was going well. Until 2011 when he was taken off the FIFA list.

Number 87: 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 88: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh

Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, one of the best Asian referees of his time, was selected to officiate at the World Cup U-20 2007 in Canada and the one in 2009 in Egypt. He took charge of matches in Asia Cup, the AFC Champions League etc etc, see his palmares. He had to retire internationally because of his age at the end of 2011.

Number 89: Adrian McCourt

Active as FIFA referee from 2003 till the end of 2009, Andrian McCourt did not get any further than a couple of qualifiers for UEFA Cup, youth matches and matches for the Intertoto. He even did a preliminary match to a qualifier for a youth championships. He was a UEFA Category 3 referee.

Number 90: Juan Ernesto Soto Arvalo

Juan Ernesto Soto Arevalo is on his way to become a major South-American referee.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.

Number 91: Carlos Vera

Carlos Alfredo Vera Rodriguez is a CONMEBOL Elite category referee.

Number 92: 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 93: Jonas Eriksson

Jonas started refereeing in 1994 and made his debut in the Allsvenskan in 2000. Two years later Eriksson earned his FIFA badge.
The Swede was promoted to the elite category at the beginning of season 2009-2010.

Number 94: 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 95: 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 96: 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 97: 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 98: Saïd Ennjimi

Said Ennjimi became international referee in 2008 and took charge of a UEFA Cup first round match in the very same year. France is in need of more top referees and he is very clearly being pushed upwards. He is a UEFA category 1 referee.

Number 99: Gyöngyi Krisztina Gaál

The only reason for Worldreferee.com focusing on men's football is lack of time and editors. So who knows what we will do in the future. Gyongyi Gaal (pronunciation see below) is a ref with a lot of experience. She took for instance charge of matches in the 2007 World Cup finals (a quarter-final and the 3rd place play-off).

Number 100: 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.

Bummer! Just outside our top 100: Diego Abal

Diego Abal, a physical education teacher, was born on December 28th 1971. He´s been an AFA referee since 1993, and he appeared in 1st division during 2006. In January 2008 he was appointed as a FIFA referee.
He is a CONMEBOL Elite Category referee.
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