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Michel performs Seville service

Slovakian Lubos Michel, 35, will take charge of the UEFA Cup final between Celtic FC and FC Porto.

Slovakian officials
Michel, who celebrated his 35th birthday last Friday, will become the first Slovakian to take charge of a UEFA club competition final since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Michel will be assisted by fellow Slovakians Igor Sramka and Martin Balko with Anton Stredak acting as the fourth official. Sramka was an assistant referee at UEFA EURO 2000™ and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, while Balko was one of the team chosen for last year's UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Switzerland.

European final
Michel has been an international referee since 1994, having started his career at the age of 19. He was one of the team of match officials appointed for the UEFA European Under-16 Championship finals in Belgium in 1995 and has subsequently been selected for the FIFA World Under-17 Championship in Egypt in 1997, the European U21 Championship in Romania in 1998 (where he handled the final between Spain and Greece), the 2000 Olympic Games and last year's World Cup finals, where he officiated at the match between Paraguay and South Africa in Busan.

Spanish visits
Michel has now handled over 80 international matches but this will be his first visit to Seville. He has, however, been the referee of matches played in Valencia, La Coruña, Albacete (Spain's UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier against Northern Ireland last October) and Madrid, where he handled Real Madrid CF's 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory against BV Borussia Dortmund in February.

Portuguese experience
The first of his four visits to Porto also involved Dortmund - their 1-0 Champions League defeat by Boavista FC in November 1999. Apart from Boavista's goalless draw with FC Bayern München in February 2002, he has handled two of FC Porto's home games - the 2-2 draw with Grasshopper-Club in 2001/02 Champions League qualifying and the 2-1 defeat of Panathinaikos FC in the second group stage of the same campaign. He has never officiated at a match involving Celtic.

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