Viktor Kassai became the youngest final referee in UEFA Champions League history. The 35-year-old Hungarian has been selected to take charge of the showpiece between FC Barcelona and Manchester United."A Champions League final is an absolutely top match, so we can expect a celebration of football," Kassai told UEFA.com. "I hope all the spectators in the stadium and watching on TV will enjoy the match, and I hope it'll be a nice game."
Kassai is under no illusion as to how much it means to his country, adding: "It's a very big honour for me and for my team, because it's very important that the referee is not alone in officiating the match. We have a team of seven officials and we'll do our best. Of course we're proud; after Károly Palotai did the final twice, the last [Hungarian], Sándor Puhl, was 14 years ago. It's a very, very big honour and a pleasure for us to continue this legendary level of Hungarian referee. All of us are very very proud, but it's also a responsibility to continue their good work."
Kassai's predecessor as UEFA Champions League final referee, Howard Webb – who went on to do the FIFA World Cup final last summer – has some words of advice for his colleague. "He should go out there, be confident and have a good game because they've proven themselves over a period of time and on many occasions," Webb told UEFA.com. "The day will fly by because it always does but try to take it all in, have a good look around and appreciate what an amazing thing you're involved in. At some point in the night, take a second to just appreciate where you are and what you're doing and what a privileged position you're in."
Webb was 38 when he took charge of last season's showpiece in Madrid – the UEFA Champions League final's previous youngest referee – and, at three years younger, Kassai is aware of how quickly this honour has come his way. "If I'm honest I didn't [expect it so soon]," he said. "But in refereeing, and in football, it's not important how old you are, the most important [thing] is the performance. If a referee goes on to the field, no one asks how old he is or which country he's from; it's important to make good decisions and give a good performance. That's all."