• Hailing from Landshut in Bavaria, bank employee Wolfgang Stark has been a German Football Association (DFB) referee since 1994 and took charge of 53 matches in the 2. Bundesliga before stepping up to the top flight in 1997. Two years later he became a FIFA official, overseeing his first international in March 2001, a goalless draw between Azerbaijan and Moldova.
• In 1999 he was selected to travel to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Zealand and the UEFA European Under-18 Championship in Sweden, also spending a valuable month refereeing in Japan's J-League in September 2001.
• Stark was a regular in qualifying for both the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008, when he took charge of five matches including the Group C game between Greece and Turkey in 2007. He has been in the middle for top domestic fixtures too, with Bayer 04 Leverkusen's match against FC Schalke 04 in 2004 among his personal favourites to date.
• Stark continues to earn a number of high-profile matches. He oversaw the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, and took charge of three matches at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa and the 2011 German Cup final.
• The German official was then awarded the 2012 UEFA Europa League final between Spanish rivals Club Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club, his biggest appointment to date, and also took charge of two group matches at UEFA EURO 2012.
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