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Michel to referee final.


coco

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Lubos Michel will take charge of the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

The Slovakian is widely regarded as one of the finest referees in the world and has officiated at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

He was also the man in the middle for the 2003 Uefa Cup final between Porto and Celtic.

However, he is probably best remembered for his decision to award Luis Garcia a controversial goal in Liverpool's Champions League semi-final victory over Chelsea in 2005.

Michel will have no problem communicating with the players during the game on Wednesday as he is fluent in English, Russian, German, Polish as well as his native tongue.

His assistants at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will be Roman Slysko and Martin Balko. The fourth official will be Vladimir Hrinak, all three men also hail from Slovakia.

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It wasn't his mistake, it was the linesman who awarded the goal. But he then came out and said he'd have sent Cech off if he hadn't given the goal, even though he was the victim of dangerous play by Baros.

Dodgy ref in my view!

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It wasn't his mistake, it was the linesman who awarded the goal. But he then came out and said he'd have sent Cech off if he hadn't given the goal, even though he was the victim of dangerous play by Baros.

Dodgy ref in my view!

I think he might have said it to take the heat off of the linesman. 317.gif

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Michel was born on May 16, 1968 in the town of Stropkov, Slovakia and became a FIFA referee at the age of just 25.

Career highlights have included appearances at the 2004 European Championships and the 2006 World Cup, as well as the officiating of the 2003 UEFA Cup final between Porto and Celtic.

It was in the aftermath of that game that Michel, then 35, was subjected to the first high-profile public criticism of his career.

The Portuguese side triumphed 3-2 in extra time, and Celtic manager Martin O'Neill was critical of Michel for allowing Porto's players to waste time in the aftermath of their winning goal.

"The referee looked very young and he will learn from this. He will learn that if you score a goal the kick-off should not be five minutes later," O'Neill said.

Jose Mourinho was at the Porto helm for that game, but he was left to rue a famously controversial decision by Michel towards the end of his first season as manager of Chelsea in 2005.

With the score between Liverpool and Chelsea 0-0 after the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, Michel declared that a Luis Garcia effort in the early stages of the second leg at Anfield had crossed the line, despite furious protests from the Chelsea players.

The goal proved decisive, and paved the way for Liverpool's celebrated comeback victory against Milan in the final, but its validity has been debated by Mourinho ever since.

Michel has also been known to take a hard line on diving, so Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba will have to be on their toes - as opposed to their backsides - in the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday night.

In a group stage match at the last World Cup Michel showed Mexico's Luis Perez a second yellow card for a dive against Portugal, and in the round of 16 game between Brazil and Ghana he dismissed Ghana's Asamoah Gyan for a similar offence.

Michel also refereed the tempestuous quarter-final match between hosts Germany and Argentina, and issued a red card to Argentine substitute Leandro Cufre for his role in a post-match brawl that followed the Germans' victory in a penalty shootout.

The Slovakian hands out an average of 4.5 bookings per game, and was the second card-happiest referee at the 2006 World Cup.

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"Luis Garcia! Did it cross the line?!?!....GOAL!!!"

Sorry lads...didnt mean to tug on your heart strings but yes you may have figured...

Lubos Michel has been named the ref for final and oooh boy do we have some bad memories with him!

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