Rizzoli to referee Hamburg showdown

Italian official Nicola Rizzoli has been appointed to referee Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final between Club Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC at the Hamburg Arena.

1005 - Daily Bulletin

Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli will take charge of the first UEFA Europa League final as Club Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC meet at the Hamburg Arena on Wednesday (kick-off 20.45CET).

Rizzoli, 39, has been an international referee since 2007 and has officiated at a total of 28 UEFA matches in his career. At the final in Hamburg, he will be assisted by his countrymen Cristiano Copelli and Luca Maggiani. The fourth official will be Gianluca Rocchi.

The referee team will be complemented by two additional assistant referees, Paolo Taglievanto and Andrea De Marco, also from Italy. This continues the experiment with two additional assistant referees which has taken place at every UEFA Europa League game of the season.

Rizzoli has handled eight UEFA Champions League fixtures this term, including the quarter-final second leg between Manchester United FC and FC Bayern München, and the first knockout round return match between Real Madrid CF and Olympique Lyonnais.

Born in Mirandola, Emilia-Romagna, in October 1971, Rizzoli is an architect by profession. He was promoted to the refereeing lists for Serie A and B in 2001, making his top-flight debut the following year.

His major breakthrough came in 2006/07, when he was assigned some of Serie A's most high-profile fixtures, including a game between AS Roma and FC Internazionale Milano and derbies in Milan and Rome. By the end of that campaign he had become a regular presence as a fourth official in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup.