Nicola Rizzoli admits it is “a dream” to officiate the World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina.
The Italian was picked for the top job in the sport and will blow the whistle at the legendary Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night.
“It is a dream, the most I could’ve ever hoped for,” 42-year-old Bologna architect Rizzoli told the Corriere dello Sport.
“It’s marvellous and impossible to describe what it means for a referee to officiate the World Cup Final.
“I dedicate this designation to myself, as I’ve been working for 20 years to get here, and to all I’ve learned from those I worked with in the Italian refereeing movement.
“I want to be one of the best on the field.”
He becomes the third Italian to referee a World Cup Final after Sergio Gonnella in 1978 and Pierluigi Collina in 2002.
Rizzoli has impressed in this World Cup campaign, as have the teams, because in his three games so far there have been 12 goals: Spain-Netherlands, Nigeria-Argentina and Argentina-Belgium.
His assistants for this match are Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani, while the fourth official is Ecuador’s Carlos Vera.