Thursday, 19 July 2018

Who will officiate 2018 UEFA Super Cup (Madrid's derby)? Analysis and prediction

A new season of European cups with fascinating duels is waiting for us. Both Champions League and Europa League have already started with preliminary rounds. In a few time, UEFA Super Cup will be played, this year in Estonia, and it will be Madrid's derby. A very hot game to start the season, who could be in charge? Let's make a short analysis. 
A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia, venue of 2018 UEFA Super Cup
We can assume that the game will be officiated by an Elite referee and we will not see again a referee who already got this assignment in past. As I already said when we discussed about Kuipers appointment for his second EL final, his nomination should remain as something extra-ordinary, but not a common or repeated practice.

UEFA Elite referees:
Aytekin, Bastien, Brych, Çakır, Collum, Gil Manzano, Hațegan, Karasev, Kassai, Královec, Kuipers, Makkelie, Marciniak, Mateu Lahoz, Mažić, Oliver, Orsato, Rocchi, Sidiropoulos, Skomina, Soares Dias, Taylor, Turpin, Undiano Mallenco, Zwayer.

As first step, we can eliminate the referees who are from the same country of the teams involved: Gil Manzano, Mateu Lahoz and Undiano Mallenco. Despite of the fact that they could handle the game because they are from the same country of both teams and they are not from Madrid community, committee will make for sure a different choice, to ensure more "neutrality" in such a game.

Second step is to rule out, for the reason I already mentioned, all the referees who already got this assignment in past: Collum, Kuipers, Mažić, Rocchi, Skomina.

As third step I would exclude the referees who are Elite since a too short time and for this reason such assignment would honestly come too early in their career, with all the future ahead in order to develop as Elite referees, it is in my opinion the case of: Bastien, Makkelie, Oliver, Soares Dias, Taylor and Zwayer.

Fourth and last cut would concern the referee who shouldn't be considered due to their treatment by committee and their performance, in this field the selection becomes more subjective, so of course maybe this is the most controversial argument and you could not agree at all. However, the names I don't see for various reasons are: Aytekin, Karasev, Kassai, Orsato, Sidiropoulos.

All this process would leave as candidates: Brych, Cakir, Hațegan,  Královec, Marciniak, Turpin. I think that the referee for Super Cup will be among these ones.

Trying a short analysis about every name: Felix Brych has performed very well in last KO stage, with big hopes for WC, but then in Russia he had a strong disappointment with only one game and many criticisms. He has already handled both CL and EL final, so Super Cup would complete an excellent palmares. Reason behind a possible appointment for him, could be an attempt by committe to make him recover after the unlucky experience in Russia.

Cakir,as I often wrote, is the "man of semifinals", he got many semifinals of big tournaments in his career, but in terms of final he has "only" CL and CWC in his palmares. For sure, an appointment for Super Cup would be also deserved based on his palmares. He stays as important option, given also the kind of game (Madrid's derby).

Hațegan is a quite solid Elite referee who at moment has already gained a certain experience, having officiated EL semifinal as "best" game in European competitions. However, his season has been distinguished by the crucial mistake in WC play off. I don't know whethter committee could give suddenly this chance in a very hot game, maybe he still needs time, but for sure in case of appointment I wouldn't be totally surprised.

Czech Pavel Královec after a very poor period of form, is now on the way of his recover, with quite good assignments. I think that this appointment would come still too early, however, it could be a signal of the trust. Difficult but not impossible.

Szymon Marciniak, as it was for Europa Legue final on last May, would be my first candidate, but I see still the Polish in a very poor period, not convincing performances after an excellent path in the previous seasons. However, I think he is for sure a candidate for the game, he should recover, if you ask me, also after not a good experience at World Cup (mostly his second game). I have for sure big expectations in the Polish, but as for now, I feel disappointed. Hopefully in case of appointment he will prove me that I was wrong.

Last, and that's my prediction, we have the name of Clément Turpin as very strong candidate for this game. The French at moment represents the best example of referee for such appointment. He is Elite since many years. After some trouble in his early seasons, in recent times his growth has been more than impressive. He has shown excellent performances, especially in terms of players management, leading him to officiate at World Cup in Russia. This has been for sure quite unexpected at a certain time, because it looked to be too early. Nevertheless, he has worked and he has been ready. This appointment, in case, would be also a very good start for the French, in order to be tested in very hot games, like Madrid's derby, and if you ask me, given his path so far, this should be the next step. At the same time, I would be really curious to see the French in this context.

So, having to select three names I would say:

1) Turpin
2) Çakır
3) Marciniak

Feel free to add your prediction as comment, on next days a poll will be opened.


  1. After all your comments , we can be sure that Cakir deserves Super final. As you say ,other candidates - besides Marciniak - can not be in Final because all your comment that I agree. If we compare Marciniak and Cakir , Cakir has got bigger career. When we think about this match ( madrid's derby ) his style is more compatible than Marciniak.

  2. Replies
    1. How to say Hategan ? Even some countries doesn't know his name !! Be realistic please.

  3. I think it will be Çakir. He is a game manager, and it could be a very hot and tense match. I think he is the one whose style is more appropriate for that match.

  4. IMO,Cakir.
    He is probably one of the most unlucky ref.
    He handled 2 big finals in his career,2012 CWC Final and 2015 CL Final,but in his carrer he has 7 big semifinal matches(WC- 14,18.CL-16,16,17,18 and EL in 14).
    I also think that fact that he handled quite well their match in CL Semis 2017 will be in his favour.Remember taht he had very hot atmosphere in that match,Atleti was chasing 3-0 deficit, gave penalty correctly and had good perfromance overall.
    So I think he will be rewarded with this big final.

  5. I very much agree with your analysis and prediction. In a "smaller" match, it would be a chance for a referee, who was not at the WC. But with the Madrid derby, this seems unlikely. And then it will be the question if they even break the pattern to not appoint referees, who had already CL or EL final.
    If they do, Cakir makes a lot of sense - could even be a farewell match, if he goes to China...
    Otherwise it should be between Turpin and Marciniak, and I also prefer the French here due to last season's performances. Marciniak then stays a candidate for the EL final in case of a good season.

    1. turpin and marciniak are the two main options for EL final

  6. I agree with most of your analysis, but I think one more thing to note is that UEFA seems to give the Super Cup final to referees as a kind of a preparation for future bigger finals. If I'm not mistaken, the last referee to take charge of a super cup final after already officiating the CL final was Bussacca in 2010. This pattern would clearly favour Turpin over Cakir.

    Furthermore, Cakir had a (IMO) very bad performance in Real - Bayern very recently

  7. OT

    Does anyone know what happened in the Riga v CSKA EL match? UEFA site shows 4 red cards during or right after penalties. Also 2 red cards during the match. Cannot find accessible video here in the US.

    1. Saw that as well! Have a look a the reactions of the CSKA fans right after the last penalty kick:

  8. I don't think Turpin can make it after Simeone's suspension. It would be a hard appointment for Collina to risk both the ref's and his career. Cakir is the mosth sensible option and I think he deserves this final as he deserved WC 2018 final as well.

    1. Good point regarding Turpin and Atletico. This might indeed be a problem.

  9. Normally Turpin has good skills . Maybe in future , he can be good choice for UEFA.
    But If we are talking for this year, unluckily on semi final game between Arsenal- Atletico Madrid He has sent off Sime Vrsaljko from second yellow in first ten minutes and than he also sent off Diego Simeone .
    So unfortunately he is not a good choice for this match.

    1. If I remember well, it was good decision. But yes, in big picture maybe his appointment should be avoided

  10. I think Turpin and Cakir are the main candidates for the Super Cup.
    According to his career I think Cakir deserve it more then Turpin, but I think Turpin will be the man in the middle. He has a great last season and (I agree with Lewis) UEFA will probably prepair him in this way for a bigger final.
    On the other side: the Madrid-crash can be very hot, Cakir is more experienced in that type of games, I think.
    My prediction:
    1. Turpin
    2. Cakir
    3. Hategan

    1. Turpin or marciniak in my opinion. Even if i will not totally exclude Hategan, as compensation to have lost WC.

  11. OT: Stefan Lupp (Felix Brych's AR) gave an interview concerning the world cup and the penalty incident in SRB-SUI.

    I tried to translate the most important statements:

    How big is the disappointment that you had to leave Russia after just one game?
    Lupp: After almost two weeks at home I feel better. But the disappointment is still there.

    What explanation was there from FIFA for the premature end?
    Lupp: There was no reason.

    How was this communicated to you?
    Lupp: In Brazil, it was announced to all referees who should go home. You got a medal and could say goodbye to all colleagues, because friendships have emerged. This time, the referees who had to go home got an email telling us to come to a meeting late at night. There it was then communicated to us personally.

    There was a lot of criticism from Serbia for the missed penalty against Switzerland. How do you see the decision in hindsight?
    Lupp: We analyzed the scene and came to the conclusion: We have nothing to blame! If we made the decision the other way around, there would have been criticism from Switzerland. The decision is in our view still 50:50, there was no black and white. Therefore, there was no reason for the VAR to intervene. Felix Brych told Felix Zwayer that he saw a foul on the Swiss player, Zwayer saw the same thing and did not have to report.

    There were speculations that Brych could have ignored Felix Zwayer and was therefore sent home.
    Lupp: That was not the case, there was no communication from the VAR in this situation. If we had actually ignored a hint from the VAR, we would have had to live with the departure.

    Was the appointment of a German referee at a Swiss game unhappy?
    Lupp: It was already discussed in advance, because the Swiss and we speak German. Immediately after the match Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic said he does not comment on the referee's performance until the day after the full broadside came.

    Krstajic said about Felix Brych: "I would send him to The Hague." There is the seat of the UN war crimes tribunal.
    Lupp: That was unspeakable and I have not experienced it that way, that's incredible. We have been criticized a lot, have experienced a lot. But that was probably the worst abuse we had to endure.

    Serbian captain Aleksandar Kolarov subsequently criticized Felix Brych for speaking German with the Swiss: "I kept asking them to speak English," he said.
    Lupp: That does not correspond to the facts. Felix spoke German, of course, in the zeal of the game, but he was never asked to let it. Basically, I think that was not against the person Brych, but was said to get as much media attention as possible. In the end, we were so focused that it was hard to get another match.

    What did the referee observer say?
    Lupp: We were not told in the evaluation that there should have been a penalty in this scene. As a result, we still believed that the decision will be shared.

    Pierluigi Collina, head of FIFA referee committee, did not support you after the match.
    Lupp: That was also a difficult situation for him: If he had said that it was a mistake, the video referee would be in the criticism. If he had said that the decision was correct, there would have been further criticism from Serbia.


    1. Ok, I (can) understand it's not a clear mistake and there is no need for VAR to intervene but it's still A MISTAKE.
      The one that send German referee team home early.

    2. Thank you for this interview. This is how I see it:

      Positive aspects:
      - AR is providing full support to the member of his team,
      - They both have seen foul from SER player,
      - They can still feel the disappointment because of early departure from the WC,
      - There was no VAR intervention.

      Negative aspects:
      - After they analyzed the scene, they concluded that this was a 50:50 situation. They didn't see who started and continued the holding for a few seconds, and that attacked made a foul after he tried to jump for the ball, after being hold,
      - They spoke German with SUI players during the game, and they still don't see anything unprofessional there,
      - Observer never evaluated this situation as a potential PK,
      - SER coach should choose the words next time,
      - Brych's team didn't prepare for the game good enough, and they were not ready for the taunting (provocations) from some of the SUI players.

      Conclusion and consequence: I cannot understand how a German referee was assigned for the game with the team who speaks the same language, and different than the opponent team. I am glad that PLC realized the mistake and had the courage not to support Brych's no call. Now we know that VAR didn't intervene and that is why Zwayer stayed at the tournament. Serbian team and Brych's team performed under their expectations, and they deserved to go home because of that.

    3. There is simply no unprofessionalism in speaking a different language than english.
      Mazic also speaks for example italian to italian players. And that's ok, because he has to referee a game. And when he thinks that it's easier while speaking the language he wants he shell use it.

  12. Real Madrid x Atlético Madrid
    Gianluca Rocchi

    1. He had Super Cup last year so I dont think that he will get another one.

  13. In my opinion, we will see a big name for the Super Cup and given the lack of options, I think we will either see Cüneyt Çakir or Felix Brych.

    For Çakir: what speaks in his favour is the fact that he handled both teams quite often and we all have in mind Atlético-Real last year in the semifinals, where he performed excellently in a (temporarily) hot match. Furthermore he gains a lot of acceptance on the pitch and given the way that he (compared to other big names, e.g. Kuipers) has "only" two international finals in his palmares, he would definitely deserve this match.

    For Brych: Brych handled this game as well quite good in 2015 in CL quarterfinal. Brych's rather authoritarian style would suit a Madrid derby, which gets usually quite hot. And it could also be some form of "consolation" appointment, after having been sent home after one game at WC.

    For Turpin: it seems too early for me. We all remember how difficult his start in Elite 3 years ago has been. And yes, Turpin had an excellent UEFA season in 2017/18. But appointing him for a final would still be too early, we all know what happened with William Collum in 2015. He came from a very good 2014/15 season, then got Barcelona-Sevilla in the Super Cup and we all know where it went then. Neither Turpin and Collum (back at the time) had been tested enough in bigger games to handle such a clash. In order to get such final, you should have had bigger games in the past and proved yourself reliable for a couple of seasons (as it had been the case for previous Super Cup referees, eg Clattenburg, Mazic and Rocchi).

    So my final prediction for the UEFA Super Cup is this:
    Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

    1. I don't think that this match in a stadium with less than 10,000 seats requires of former UCL final referee. I would also opt for Turpin: Real - Atlético might be too early for him at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu or Wanda Metropolitano but it seems adequate for him at Lilleküla staadion (in my opinion).

  14. In my opinion, also Daniele Orsato could have been an option for the Super Cup: With 43 years of age (by the end of 2018) and "just" being number 2 in Italy, this appointment maybe would be the maximum he could achieve if we take into account that an Italian club always could reach the Europa League final. After his VAR duties during the WC 2018 this also could have been a little reward for the successful implementation of this new technology. But having a look at his VAR nominations, I realize that they ended after BRA-BEL whereas Massimiliano Irrato got three more games. That's why I fear that the committee was not that content how he handled the crucial scene there. Considering that Daniele Orsato had two UCL quarterfinals last season and the year before as well as his experience in the Serie A, however, he would definitely have been an option for this match.

    1. I excluded him because he is not in a good form at moment, Collina changed his appointment in EL semifinal after a poor performance in Inter - Juventus in serie A.
      He ended the season below expectations.
      In addition, Rocchi officiated Super Cup one year ago, now another Italian? Not possible for me, but maybe Orsato will be candidate for Europa League final 2019, in case of good performances.

    2. Orsato is not one referee adequate for UEFA Super Cup.

    3. Who would be adequate for the UEFA Super Cup in your eyes, Albie?

  15. Just wait and see, but it's a good analysis.

  16. Brych. Cause he deserved more at WC that would be my choice.
    But prediction? Turpin. Would be a good and logical choice.

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