Swiss referee Massimo Busacca tells UEFA.com of his pride at officiating tonight's UEFA Super Cup as well and explains the pressures officials face in the modern game.
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Swiss referee Massimo Busacca was filled with pride as he looked ahead to tonight's UEFA Super Cup between FC Internazionale Milano and Club Atlético de Madrid at Stade Louis II in Monaco. The 41-year-old, who has officiated 86 UEFA matches in his career, refereed the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League final and the 2006/07 UEFA Cup final and is excited about the prospect of taking charge of the UEFA Super Cup for the first time.
UEFA.com: How are you feeling ahead of the match?
Massimo Busacca: Very good. I'm happy to have already officiated a UEFA Cup final and a UEFA Champions League final and now another final in the Super Cup. I'm really proud to have been appointed for this game, and I will do my best to return the trust and confidence that has been placed in me. Officiating in all three UEFA club competition finals means a lot to me. Over the years I have always tried to improve and to stay highly motivated. Refereeing is a hobby for us and as such we have to enjoy it.
UEFA.com: What does it take to be a referee in the modern game?
Busacca: Refereeing is changing. Preparation is more important than ever. Referees have to train and keep fit just like players during the week. They have to make sure every detail is just right to be in a position to make the correct decisions on the pitch in less than a second.
UEFA.com: Is there a difference between officiating such a prestigious match and any other game?
Busacca: Physical preparation for a big game is the same as for any other. What changes is the mental preparation. When you know you are officiating a very important game the adrenaline and motivation are much higher, just like for the players. You have to be very focused and give everything.
UEFA.com: How do you manage your team of officials?
Busacca: Technical and tactical preparation is fundamental for referees. All six officials for this game met yesterday. This is only my second match with the two additional assistants behind the goallines – my first was in Kyiv two weeks ago – and it's not so easy when you are not used to it. We have to be very clear about how we share responsibilities during the game. Each member of the refereeing team will have to be ready to take a decision when needed. And in a final our decisions will be more crucial than in any other game.
UEFA.com: What is the key to being a successful referee?
Busacca: It is always important to try understand the players and what they want to do in a match. I need to find out if they are willing to follow my line, to respect their opponents or not. That will tell me how to conduct the match and where to set the limits. From that moment the referee should become the supporting actor and let the players do their work. In the end, the referee depends a lot on the attitude and behaviour of the players.
UEFA.com: What is the hardest part of your job?
Busacca: A referee is alone on the pitch. When he takes a decision he is alone and there is nobody to support or defend him. This loneliness on the pitch is the hardest part of the job.
UEFA.com: Referees these days are under so much pressure. How important is the support of your family in the job you do?
Busacca: Without my wife my refereeing career would have ended a long time ago. She and my family have always fully supported me and they will always remain more important than refereeing. I am very happy my wife will be at the match tonight. It helps me to know she will be there. It is not easy being a referee. The pressure can be immense.