Now a top UEFA Champions League referee, Paolo Tagliavento made his UEFA breakthrough at the 2007 UEFA Regions' Cup in Bulgaria. He knows the new crop of officials in Veneto have plenty to look forward to.
UEFA.com: The 2007 UEFA Regions' Cup was your first UEFA final tournament – can you remember much about it?
Paolo Tagliavento: I will never forget it. I had only become an international referee a few months before. Going to the tournament was very important. You come together with other referees, maybe even ones with a different outlook, and work to the same UEFA guidelines. It was a time of real progress.
UEFA.com: You were chosen to referee the final. How was that?
Tagliavento: When they announced that I would referee the decider, I was very, very happy, but careful and focused too. Before a match you are always happy to have been chosen, but then you immediately move into a phase of intense concentration. If things go well, you can really enjoy the match once it is over.
UEFA.com: Four games in eight days is quite intense. How did you deal with that challenge?
Tagliavento: It is very important to prepare well before coming to the tournament, but once you are there it's important to recover well. If it is like it was in Bulgaria it will be very hot, so it is crucial to drink a lot and at the right times. You need to know your body and do your best to recover physically as well as mentally after every game.
UEFA.com: What advice would you give to the referees at the 2013 finals?
Tagliavento: Focus and do your best, because it's a very positive experience. Minimise the number of mistakes you make. Be very focused and professional, but also enjoy it.
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