Felix Brych demonstrated in the Champions League final why he is one of the best referees in the world.
Real Madrid v Juventus was always going to be a very challenging encounter. Watching the game and at the same time reading the Ref Cam comments from our own Mark Halsey, I found myself often nodding in agreement.
It was refreshing to see a referee who was consistent in his detection of careless and reckless challenges. Despite that however, we also saw how an over zealous assistant can create a problem which on this occasion saw Juventus player Juan Cuadrado receive a second yellow card which, on replays, looked harsh.
German official Brych operated a safe refereeing style ensuring that the game was always under his control. When required he was able to raise his game and level of interference using the full range of management techniques.
The facial expression, the glare, linked with clear communication skills, ensured that players were managed very effectively. His fitness levels were not in doubt and he used his experience to good effect reading the movement of players and meeting the demands placed upon him to take up those important viewing positions.
I was left in no doubt that the general standard of our current crop of Premier League referees is some distance away from the qualities of Brych and Europa League Cup Final referee Damir Skomina of Slovenia, who was excellent in Manchester United’s defeat of Ajax.