Mark Clattenburg is a British member who currently runs Saudi Professional League matches. He has been an international FIFA since 2006 and was long st ood out as one of the best in the Premier League. Which is why he delivered justice in several international finals.
Born in Consett, County Durham, it’s made headlines again. This time it is on behalf of an interview with ‘Sportsmail’, in which he revealed what the behavior of cracks is like on the court. Mark focused, among others, on Cristiano, Messi and Suarez. These were the referee’s words:
REFEREE’S FRIENDSHIP WITH CRISTIANO RONALDO
“I admired above all their ability to improve their game when the team was down. I refereed him as a young player in the Premier League, then at Real Madrid and he always served. You knew you were sharing the field with a truly unique player who could change the game in an instant.
I got along very well with him. When I climbed the stairs to get my medal after the Euro 2016 final, he tried to grab me and hug me, that was the level of respect we had. I was disappointed when he was injured at the beginning of the final because the game lost a great player.
But I never treated him differently from any other player and I think that’s why we had a good relationship. After a game, a T-shirt entered my signed wardrobe: ‘To Mark, my best wishes, Cristiano Ronaldo.’ I hadn’t even asked for it. It was such a nice gesture.
The first time I refereed Real Madrid, I remember Iker Casillas getting the ball from a corner and in three passes they had scored, he hadn’t even crossed the midfield line! But that’s what great players like Ronaldo can do. It was very fast and clinical.”
“When I first refereed Messi, I was really shocked. It was in a Barcelona-Paris Saint-Germain and, being so close, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my God, this is amazing.’ When you referee, you tend to look at the ball. With it, you could even lose sight of the ball, so imagine what it is for defenders!
I had to change the way he analyzed the game when he was there. He was so skilled that opponents would try to stop him in different ways, sometimes throwing him in the foot, sometimes with the upper body.
I warned him in that first match against PSG to stand before contacting an opponent’s foot, but he never complained or said anything. As a referee, you hoped to share messi one day because you knew the match could be special.”
“My first game with him was with Ajax and he scored four goals. When I got home I said to my friends, ‘What a player, it’s amazing.’ He had a dirty side, like Diego Costa, but he was very talented.
I was excited when Liverpool signed it because he knew which amazing player was coming to the Premier League. He always played on the edge and you had to handle it. He always spoke to you in Spanish, but I had arbitrated all over the world and knew the ugly words, so I gave him back one or two. That surprised him!
People talk about the laws of gambling. Yes, that’s fine, but arbitration, for me, has more to do with game and player management. You have to try to help the product, the game, to be the best possible. You had to know how to handle players like Suarez. If you don’t, you cause more trouble for the future.”