Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

14 Best Soccer Referees in the World

Soccer Referees


Soccer referees play a crucial role in every match, ensuring fairness and maintaining the integrity of the game. In this article, we will explore the 14 best soccer referees in the world, their achievements, and their contributions to the sport. These referees have gained a strong reputation for their fairness, experience, and ability to make important decisions on the field.

1. Daniele Orsato

Daniele Orsato

Daniele Orsato, the recent winner of the International Federation of Football History and Statistics award for the best referee, stands at the top. With a decade of experience as a full-time international referee for FIFA, Orsato has already officiated numerous high-profile matches, including the 2020 UEFA Champions League final. At 45 years old, he still has many successful years ahead in his career.

2. Bjorn Kuipers

Bjorn Kuipers

Bjorn Kuipers, a member of the elite group since 2006, is renowned for his physical fitness and professionalism. He has successfully refereed significant matches across the globe, showcasing his experience and dedication to the sport. Kuipers consistently maintains fairness, making him a reliable choice for important fixtures.

3. Felix Brych

Felix Brych

Felix Brych, originally a lawyer, made a successful transition to become one of the world’s best football referees. As a UEFA elite group referee, Brych has officiated in several prestigious matches, including appearances at the 2008 FIFA World Cup. Known for his control of the game and unbiased approach, Brych ensures fairness prevails on the pitch.

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4. Antonio Mateu Lahoz

Antonio Mateu Lahoz

Antonio Mateu Lahoz is widely regarded as the best Spanish football referee at present. With extensive international experience, including the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018, Lahoz has gained the respect of professionals and players alike. His versatility is evident as he officiates matches in Spain and beyond.

5. Damir Skomina

Damir Skomina

Hailing from Slovenia, Damir Skomina has been a FIFA referee since 2003. Skomina’s calm and collected demeanor on the field, coupled with his impartiality, make him one of the most respected referees in the game. He is frequently entrusted with officiating important matches, such as the Champions League and Europa League finals.

6. Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor, a rising star in the world of refereeing, has made a name for himself in a relatively short span of about eight years. His notable achievement includes officiating the 2020 UEFA Super Cup. With his increasing experience and skill, Taylor is set to become a prominent figure in football refereeing.

7. Martin Atkinson

Martin Atkinson

Martin Atkinson is highly regarded as a capable referee, both in England and as a FIFA representative. Despite his age of 49, Atkinson remains an agile referee known for his cerebral approach to the game. While no referee is immune to criticism, Atkinson receives relatively fewer complaints from fans, indicating his consistent fairness.

8. Nestor Pitana

Nestor Pitana

Nestor Pitana, a standout referee from Argentina, has officiated numerous high-profile matches, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. Known for his exceptional control over matches, Pitana receives praise for his ability to maintain fairness throughout the game. Pitana’s international experience has earned him a well-deserved spot among the best referees in the world.

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9. Slavko Vincic

Slavko Vincic

With over a decade of experience as a FIFA-listed referee, Slavko Vincic has established himself as a reliable official. Vincic’s ability to control matches effectively and avoid controversy has contributed to his growing reputation. As he enters the prime of his career, fans anticipate Vincic officiating more high-profile matches in the coming years.

10. Mark Geiger

Mark Geiger

Mark Geiger, hailing from the United States, has demonstrated his potential as one of the best referees in the world. Geiger’s extensive experience and positive feedback have solidified his position as a top referee. Whether officiating Major League Soccer matches or international fixtures, Geiger consistently maintains control and keeps controversy to a minimum.

11. Cüneyt Çakır

Cüneyt Çakır

Cüneyt Çakır, the most respected referee in the Turkish Super League, has officiated several important matches in soccer history. Despite being perceived as polarizing by some, Çakır’s accuracy and fairness speak for themselves. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics recognizes him as one of the most reliable referees in the game today.

12. Clement Turpin

Clement Turpin

Clement Turpin, one of the youngest referees on this list, has a promising future ahead. Since joining the FIFA list of referees in 2010 and the UEFA elite group in 2012, Turpin has excelled in his role. His involvement in the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup showcases his potential to officiate in more prestigious matches.

13. Danny Makkelie

Danny Makkelie

Danny Makkelie, a Dutch referee, has made significant strides in his career since becoming a FIFA-listed referee in 2011. He has officiated in international football championships, including serving as part of the video assistant refereeing team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. Makkelie’s growing reputation has led to more significant opportunities, earning praise from teams and fans alike.

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14. Jose Sanchez Martinez

Jose Sanchez Martinez

Jose Sanchez Martinez, rounding out our list, brings his expertise to both men’s and women’s games. Starting his career at the young age of 17, Martinez quickly rose through the ranks in Spain and internationally. With constant control and composure on the field, Martinez is on track to officiate bigger matches in the future.


Q: What makes a referee one of the best in the world?
A: The best referees are known for their fairness, experience, and ability to maintain control over matches. They make important decisions without bias, ensuring the game is played with integrity.

Q: How do referees handle controversial situations?
A: Referees are trained to assess situations quickly and make fair decisions. They rely on their experience and knowledge of the game’s rules to handle controversial moments effectively.

Q: Can referees influence the outcome of a match?
A: Referees strive to be impartial and ensure a fair playing field for both teams. While their decisions can impact the game, the ultimate outcome is determined by the players’ performance.


The 14 best soccer referees in the world are a testament to the importance of their role in the game. Their dedication, experience, and fairness contribute to the success and integrity of matches. As they continue to officiate prestigious fixtures, they inspire the next generation of referees and shape the future of the sport. To stay updated on all things soccer, visit Movin993.