Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli has revealed that he was proud to represent Italy at the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina on Sunday. The 42-year-old was the third Italian to officiate the tournament’s final game, following Sergio Gonella in 1978 and Pierluigi Collina in 2002, and he admits that being able to do so has been an incredible experience, as well as a great source of pride for all of Italy.
Rizzoli spoke to the official FIGC website about the difficulty of refereeing the World Cup final, which Germany won 1-0 after extra time, and praised assistants Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani for helping him keep the match under control. “It was a great match and a great satisfaction, a source of pride for Italy and for the entire Italian football,” said the official. “The match was difficult, but I had been greatly helped by the players and especially by my assistants. A World Cup final is not an easy match, but perhaps the most psychologically complicated moment came when Higuain’s goal was disallowed, which inevitably created some tension. Fortunately, the high level of Italian refereeing is known in the international arena, players trust us, we talk and it helps make everything better. I am very proud to have represented the Italian referees here at the World Cup and at the final. I dedicate my succes to them and to my family”.