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Kateryna Monzul is ready to "fulfil a dream" as she prepares to take charge of Thursday's UEFA Women's Champions League final between Tyresö FF and VfL Wolfsburg.
The Ukrainian match official was selected on 7 May to referee the final at the Estádio do Restelo in Lisbon, and she acknowledges this will be the high point of her refereeing life so far. "When you start a career as a referee, all your friends and relatives ask you why you have started doing this," Monzul told UEFA.com. "The first answer is: 'To referee a final.' It's like a dream and a fulfilment of this dream."
Monzul will be assisted by fellow Ukrainians Natalia Rachynska and Maryna Striletska, with the fourth official Kateryna Zora also a compatriot. Portuguese reserve official Olga Almeida completes the refereeing team, and Monzul is keen for the entire group to be recognised. "As we say, a warrior cannot fight alone on a battlefield. We are together, we are a team. Success only comes when you are together."
Having overseen Tyresö's 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 32 back in October and handled Wolfsburg's 2-0 victory at Arsenal LFC in last season's semi-final, Monzul is already familiar with both sides; she believes this experience could be useful. "I've already met these teams and that is a big advantage for me because you can learn about the teams' tactics. You can also get ready mentally for these teams, you know more about their players. That is very important for a referee."
During a busy European campaign, Monzul was in the middle for 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam's surprise 2-1 win at last term's runners-up Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 16, although for her it was simply another match. "I feel I have a big responsibility in every game. In every match you should give 100%. It doesn't matter what game it is, you must be ready for every one."
The 32-year-old carries that same attitude into domestic competition, where she referees fixtures in the Ukrainian men's second division. "The rules of the game are the same for men and women," she explained. "You should have the same approach concerning men's and women's football and treat them equally, so that there's no difference between [the two]."
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