Tonight, when Slovenia hosts Kazakhstan in Stožice in the last match of the European Championship 2024 qualifiers and chases its first place in major competitions after 14 years of waiting, it will almost certainly not be able to complain about the refereeing. In Ljubljana, the currently best judge in the world, Szymon Marciniak, will administer justice.
Szymon Marciniak is currently officially the best referee in the world. The International Institute of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) chose him as the best this year.
Maybe someone will say that he is not, but a look at his referee card is impressive and confirms that he is definitely one of the best.
In the last year, he refereed the LP and SP finals
The 42-year-old Pole refereed the big final of the Champions League between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Istanbul this year, and last December he was the main judge in the most important match that football offers only once every four years.
He refereed the final of the World Cup in Qatar between Argentina and France, in which he is Lionel Messi finally confirmed the title of the best in history.
Interestingly, a few days after the match of all matches, Marciniak admitted that he made a mistake in it.
He raised even more dust when he was the main speaker in Poland at an event organized by a far-right Polish politician Slawomir Mentzen.
Let’s go back to football.
Marciniak also refereed the European Super Cup in 2018 between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid Jan Oblak. And brought him luck. Atletico won 4:2. Fingers crossed that it will be the same tonight.
He has a total of 45 matches as a referee in the Champions League. Twice in the semi-finals. He also refereed the semi-finals of the Europa League three times. He was at the World Championships twice, the last one in 2018. He was at the European Championships in 2016. He missed the 2020 European Championships due to health problems.
He judged Slovenia after a painful defeat in Tallinn
Marciniak has refereed Slovenia only once so far. When he is in charge at the start of the 2016 European Championship qualifiers Lucky Catanca suffered a painful defeat against Estonia and lost 0:1 in Tallinn.
He was also the main referee three times in Maribor matches. In the Europa League in the 2012/13 season with a 0:1 defeat against Lazio, in the 2013/14 Europa League when Maribor beat Wigan 2:1 and made it to the knockout stages, and lastly in the 2014/15 Champions League when Maribor lost 0:1 against Schalke at home.