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Referee Rosetti blows final whistle on career

Roberto Rosetti has taken charge of his last match after the 42-year-old decided to hang up his whistle in favour of an administrative role with the Association of Italian Referees.

Referee Rosetti blows final whistle on career
Referee Rosetti blows final whistle on career ©uefa.com 1998-2010. All rights reserved.

Italian referee Roberto Rosetti, who took charge of the UEFA EURO 2008 final between Spain and Germany, has called time on his officiating career in order to lead a committee of the Association of Italian Referees (AIA).

The 42-year-old announced his decision today, fresh from directing two games at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. "It is fair to say I have had an extraordinary career – I started when I was 16 and soon I will be 43," he said. "It has been a huge part of my life – 13 seasons in Serie A, two World Cups, three UEFA Champions League semi-finals, the EURO final." Rosetti's new role will be at the helm of the Serie B national referees committee.

The Turin-based hospital manager, who joined the FIFA list in 2002, scaled a number of refereeing peaks, most notably at UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland: among his high-profile appointments were the tournament's opening game between co-hosts Switzerland and the Czech Republic, the Croatia-Turkey quarter-final and the final won by Spain in Vienna.

In South Africa he handled the fixtures between Australia and Ghana in the group stage, and Argentina and Mexico in the Round of 16. Despite being more than two years short of the mandatory retirement age for Italian match officials, he said he was happy to be hanging up his whistle. "Now I have received this offer I have decided to take a different path in my career. I'm leaving when I'm still at the top, to make way for younger referees. I'm very happy to have taken this decision."

From his Serie A debut on 19 April 1998 – a UC Sampdoria victory at SSC Napoli – Rosetti went on to referee 189 Italian top-flight matches, including five Milan derbies, three Rome and four Genoa. He was assigned three Coppa Italia finals and was voted best Italian referee by the Association of Italian Footballers (AIC) five years running between 2006 and 2010.