Reputable referee Mark Clattenburg revealed secrets about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in an interview with Mail Sports yesterday.
Mark Clattenburg is considered one of the best referees of his generation. Clattenburg has led many important European and world football matches such as the 2012 Olympic finals, the 2014 European Super Cup finals, the 2015/16 European Cup final, or the Euro 2016 final.
Recently, Mr. Clattenburg shared with Mail Sports about the 5 players who left the deepest impression in his career. Specific lists are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Vincent Kompany and Gary Speed. In particular, Clattenburg especially praised Ronaldo and Messi.
“What I admire most about Ronaldo is his ability to pull the whole team up when they are down. When I first met Ronaldo on the pitch when he was a young player in the Premier League and then at Real Madrid, he always knew how to shine. At that time, I knew that I was standing on the field with a really special player who could change the game immediately.
“I was very disappointed when he got injured early in the final (Euro 2016) because the game lost a great player. But I have never treated Ronaldo more specifically than the other players and I think that’s why we have a good relationship.
Ronaldo donated his signed shirt to referee Clattenburg after the Euro 2016 final, although the British “black king” did not ask.
For Messi, the referee Clattenburg was really impressed with the way the Barca striker handled the ball.
“I was very confused when I first stood with Messi on the field, it was Barca vs PSG. At the time, I thought, ‘My God, this is unbelievable”.
When you are an referee, you have a habit of watching the ball move anywhere, anytime. But with Messi, you can lose sight of the ball. So imagine what the defenders look like in the face of Messi.
“I warned Messi in the first match against PSG when he fouled an opponent, but Messi never complained or said anything. He usually never gets into a fight. But as an referee, you want to stand on the pitch with Messi because you know it can be a special match”.