Elizondo: Three years of working hard went into that Last
July 05 2016

Argentinian referee Horacio Elizondo made history at Germany 2006, becoming the first match official to adopt charge of the Opening Match and also the Final of a FIFA Earth Cup?. On the tenth anniversary of the competition, he shared his memories of it with us, with talk inevitably looking at the event that still left an indelible mark around the tournament: the sending-off of France’s Zinedine Zidane within the Final against Italy. fifa 17 Coins

“When you’re young you dream of the things you’d love to do, but then life takes you in other directions, ” said the ex- referee, who knew at the age of 15 that he was not going to make it as being a professional footballer. “I realised that there were plenty of young players like everyone, and that it was going to be very difficult to generate it to the very first division. ”

He chose instead to help devote his energies for you to athletics, with his love for sport normally eventually leading him to turn into a PE teacher. In time, refereeing would allow him or her to fulfil the dreams he harboured to be a child, albeit by an choice route: “I achieved my objective not by transforming into a player or an Olympic athlete but a referee, first at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and then at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. ”

Intensive preparations
The road to individuals major events was long and demanding. It took Elizondo a whole ten years to progress from his first international match towards the 2006 Final in Berlin, a journey in which he endured the frustration of passing up on a place at Korea/Japan 2002.

His preparations for the big event in Germany were extensive to mention the least, as the 52-year-old Argentinian spelled out: “It wasn’t a thirty days or 35 or 45 days. I spent three years working towards the reason for preparing in the best suited way for that World Cup and being nearly the job when I obtained there. And it was identical for my team, not just me.

“It was at that World Cup which they were first called refereeing teams understanding that refereeing began to always be envisaged and seen diversely, with specific efforts being created to build confidence, which is absolutely imperative to teamwork. That was vital and extremely important. ”

The preparation paid off, enabling Elizondo to get to Germany in peak condition and looking for a very clear aim: “The aim was not to ever prepare a referee to adopt charge of a Globe Cup match, or two or several, or even half a new match, but to prepare us for refereeing one more. ”

Elizondo and his assistants, Rodolfo Otero and Dario Garcia, were selected for your Opening Match between Germany and Costa Rica with Munich. Recalling the experience, he said: “I was absolutely thrilled also it was a big responsibility since it was down to us to exhibit the world how the Laws on the Game were going for being applied and interpreted. ”

The Argentinian trio would likely officiate at five meets at Germany 2006, each one of which posed a different challenge. “The second game ended up being the toughest: Czech Republic against Ghana, ” recalled Elizondo. “They were two very physical teams and yes it was a physical game with a lot of fouls. The pace of the experience was very fast far too, and the players never let up.

“Then we had Switzerland-Korea Republic, who were both enjoying for a place next round. After that it has been England v Portugal inside quarter-finals, where a mistake may be fatal because you don’t have the opportunity to make amends. That game went for you to penalties. And then came the ultimate. ”

A grand occasion
There was a surprise up for grabs for Elizondo and his team inside biggest game of your tournament. “Finals are usually quieter affairs because teams attempt not to make any mistakes, but that was a different kind of final, ” said the ex-referee.

“We hadn’t even removed five minutes and My partner and i was giving a fee to France, ” he added. “Then Dario Garcia disallowed a goal for Italy. And then came the equaliser and also the famous incident between Zidane in addition to (Marco) Materazzi. ”

‘Well, that’s it. Zidane’s got to go’

Horacio Elizondo recalling deciding to dismiss Zinedine Zidane.

Explaining his take around the clash that marked the finish of the Frenchman’s profession, the Argentinian official explained: “I was a ways away from it. I stopped play and went over to where the Italian gamer was. I asked my assistants around the microphone link if they’d observed anything. They both said many people hadn’t.

“And then on emerged Luis Medina Cantalejo, who was the next official. He said: ‘Violent headbutt by No10 white on…’. I can’t remember exactly what number Materazzi was using. ”

Elizondo then explained the minute that made such a mark on that Globe Cup: “Medina Cantalejo said in my experience: ‘You won’t believe it once you see it’. And I thought in order to myself: ‘Oh no! Something terrible’s happened here’. And thanks to those three years of working together, of trust and teamwork, I believed in precisely what Luis was telling myself. I said: ‘Well, that’s it. Zidane’s got to go’. ”

The reunion
Player and referee came in person again a year in the future. “It was in Murcia, in the south regarding Spain, at an adidas item launch, ” explained Elizondo. “They asked if either individuals had a problem with coming to an event together. We both said we all didn’t.

“We stayed at identical hotel, and we crossed paths in the lobby several times. We had breakfast: him with his family members and me with my own. We all said hello to each other. We didn’t speak by any means about that match, that Final and precisely what happened, which tells you just how good Zinedine Zidane has people. ”

Having made history at Germany 2006, Elizondo returned home to uncover that things were not quite similar to when he had remaining: “It was amazing to go back to Argentina and see the quantity of reporters waiting for us. It was like the return on the prodigal son. So many big things happened in a short space of time, and I wasn’t ready for him or her.

“I was embarrassed at everything that happened: walking out on the actual pitch and having each sets of fans applaud me personally, signing autographs, getting a call from your Argentinian president... ”

Elizondo took charge involving his last game by the end of 2006, a match between Boca Juniors in addition to Lanus at La Bombonera. It was a game your home side had to earn to lift the identify. They lost. After sounding the remaining whistle, the man in the middle received an unexpected farewell through the stands.

Recalling the send-off, he said: “It was the sort of thing you’d expect for the player, not a referee. I wasn’t ready correctly, for it to always be so romantic, if you will, so positive. I was expecting to visit out on a damaging note, something more traumatic, more controversial. It was a new experience for me personally, something new that When i learned, and it really heated up my heart. ”.



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