The World’s Best Referee of the 1st Decade (2001-2010)

Dr. Markus Merk (Germany)



Establishing The World’s best Referee of the 1st Decade of the 21st Century can only on be done on the basis of the annual world vote (by IFFHS), by taking each year’s vote as representing 10 % of the value for the decade. Each year many different jurors (countries) have taken part in the vote and, in addition, the jurors in the early years voted for the top three places (3 points to 1 point), and later for the top four places (4 points to 1 point). So it would not be possible to simply add the points awarded in the annual votes.

The IFFHS has devised an equitable method for determining The World’s best Referee of the 1st Decade of the 21st Century. From the annual world ranking of the referees (as a result of the world vote) the IFFHS will take into consideration the “Top 20” for each year and allocate points to each place. So the first-placed receives 20 points, the second-placed 19 points, the third-placed 18 points ... and a point for twentieth place. If the annual world ranking comprises more than 20 referees, then the referees from 21st place onwards receive no points. If the annual world ranking comprises fewer than 20 referees (based on the fixed rules), no points will be awarded for the unoccupied places. Adding the points from the individual years provides a world ranking for the period 2001-2010. The first-placed in this final world ranking is The World’s best Referee of the 1st Decade of the 21st Century.

After ten votes for The World’s best Referee during the 1st Decade of the 21st Century a total of only 63 referees feature in the ten annual world rankings. These 63 referees are from Europe (44), South America (9), Asia (5), Central and North America (3), Africa (1) and Oceania (1). The 63 referees comprise 31 nationalities. Those countries with the most entries in the best referees of the world for the period 2001-2010 are Italy (7), Spain (6), England (5), Germany (4) as well as Switzerland, Sweden and France with three each.

With a large lead, the not more active, Dr. Markus Merk is The World’s best Referee of the 1st Decade (2001-2010). The 48-year-olf German, who was three times The World’s best Referee of the year, was one of the more flamboyant personalities in the global history of referees. Because the 42 years old Slovakian Lubos Michel finished his active career early, he was deprived of 2nd place by the 41-year-old Colombian Óscar Julián Ruiz. With it, the Colombian is South America's best referee of the 1st Decade - ahead of the one year his senior Uruguayan Jorge Luis Larrionda. The Uruguayan even surpassed Dr. Pierluigi Collina, whose active career was in large part prior to 2001. The 44-year-old Mexican Benito Armando Archundia is Central and North America‘s best referee of the 1st Decade and the still only 33-years-old Uzbek Ravshan Irmatov is the best in Asia. Dr. Markus Merk was honored as The World’s best Referee of the 1st Decade on the occasion of the World Football Gala 2012 in Barcelona (picture at the head).




FIRST DECADE (2001-2010) 

1. Dr. Markus Merk   (Germany)  135 points

2. Óscar Julián Ruiz   (Colombia)  104

3. Jorge Luis Larrionda   (Uruguay)   96

4. Luboš Michel   (Slovakia)  96

5. Dr. Pierluigi Collina   (Italy)  94

6. Roberto Rosetti   (Italy)  91

7. Kim Milton Nielsen   (Denmark)  84

8. Frank De Bleeckere   (Belgium)  82

9. Massimo Busacca   (Switzerland)  81

10. Manuel Enrique Mejuto González   (Spain)  73

11. Anders Frisk   (Sweden)  70

12.Graham Poll   (England)  70

13.Urs Meier   (Switzerland)  65

14.Horacio Marcelo Elizondo   (Argentina)  62

15.Howard Melton Webb   (England)  61

16.Héctor Walter Baldassi   (Argentina)  60

17.Valentin Ivanov   (Russia)  51

18.Luis Medina Cantalejo   (Spain)  49

19.Herbert Fandel   (Germany)  47

20.Benito Armando Archundia   (México)  44

21.Gilles Veissière   (France)  37

22.Claus Bo Larsen   (Denmark)  36

23.Terje Hauge   (Norway)  36

24.Carlos Arecio Amarilla   (Paraguay)  35

25.Hugh Dallas   (Scotland)  31