Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli has been chosen to referee the WorldCup final in Rio de Janeiro on 13 July. In the tournament he has already been in charge of Spain v Netherlands and Nigeria v Argentina in the group stages, as well as the Argentina v Belgium quarter final.
Rizzoli started his international career in 2007, going on to referee the final in each of the two main European club competitions. He was the man in the middle for Atletico Madrid-Fulham at the climax of the 2010 UEFA Europa League, followed by the all-German decider between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League.
In 2011, the Italian was selected for the FIFA Club World Cup, where he presided over two games. In 2012, Rizzoli was tasked with handling Spain-France in the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2012 and two more matches during the same competition.
Rizzoli will be assisted by his compatriots Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani. The fourth official will be Carlos Vera from Ecuador.
Nicola Rizzoli will be the third Italian referee in the history of the FIFA World Cup to officiate a final, following in the footsteps of Sergio Gonella in 1978 and Pierluigi Collina in 2002.