For many people, Leo Horn’s name means little or nothing, but in the refereeing world it has an important place. The Dutch, with a Jewish ancestry, has a particular record of having refereed both the UEFA and the CONMEBOL club finals in the same year. Leo Horn refereed the Champions League final (Benfica – Real Madrid) and the Copa Libertadores final (Santos – Penarol), both in 1962, a very unique achievement in the international refereeing.
Leopold "Leo" Horn (photo) was nicknamed "the judge of war" for having served on the front with the Dutch resistance during the Second World War. After having refereed his first European Cup final, Real Madrid – Fiorentina (2-0), in 1957, Horn was appointed to his second European Cup final Benfica – Real Madrid (5-3), on 2 May 1962, at the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam, in his native Netherlands, becoming one of the only four referees with appearances in two finals of the UEFA Champions League. Just a few months later, on 30 August 1962, he had the honour to referee the third and decisive final match for the Copa Libertadores, between Santos FC with Pele and Penarol (3-0) at the River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. No other referee has ever refereed both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores finals in the same year. Although he was from Europe, Horn was appointed again to a Copa Libertadores final in 1964, the first leg of Nacional – Independiente, which ended in a goalless draw. That was the last participation of a European referee in a Copa Libertadores match in South America.