Frank De Bleeckere wants the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco to be the first stage in a season to remember, the experienced Belgian match official declaring: "I must perform to my best."
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Frank De Bleeckere is looking forward to refereeing the UEFA Super Cup game between FC Barcelona and FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Monaco – an assignment the experienced Belgian match official considers another positive addition to his CV.
De Bleeckere will be joined by fellow Belgians in assistant referees Peter Hermans and Walter Vromans, and fourth official Paul Allaerts. "It's a great honour to be appointed by the UEFA Referees Committee for this important start to the new [European] season," said 43-year-old De Bleeckere, who comes from Oudenaarde. "The aim is to obviously put in a good performance, and that the refereeing team is 100 per cent concentrated."
Preparation for Friday's big game among the Belgian officials will be calm and professional. "[A few] hours before the match I will rest in my room, listen to music and read a book, and in the dressing room we'll be quiet, as everyone will be concentrating on producing as good a performance as possible," said De Bleeckere.
Like all sportsmen at the highest level, De Bleeckere has been able to use the summer break to recover from the stresses and strains of the previous campaign. "I went to the sun with my family – obviously when you go on holiday you stay a referee, but you relax, and I've been able to recharge my batteries."
De Bleeckere's aims for the new term are to maintain the high standards that have taken him to the European and world refereeing heights with appointments for major UEFA and FIFA tournaments. "The [FIFA] World Cup takes place next June and this is a big target. Normally, it would be my last tournament, so I must perform to my best this season [to be chosen]," he reflected.