Gianluca Rocchi said he was ‘sceptical about VAR’ before agreeing ‘it’s an excellent tool’, revealed Juventus-Roma from 2014 ‘taught him a lot’ and admitted it was ‘more difficult’ after the lockdown.
Rocchi has decided to retire from his refereeing duties after having overseen 529 games at the highest level and his last match between Juventus and Roma in 2019-20 was a fitting farewell for the veteran.
“I would very much like the referee to be considered within the game and not an outsider,” Rocchi told Sky Sport Italia. “I felt good when they celebrated my farewell at the end of Juve-Roma.
“I received messages from [CONI President Giovanni] Malagò, [FIGC President Gabriele] Gravina and many referees I know and didn’t know.
“That’s a very nice thing and I’m happy.”
When Juventus beat Roma 3-2 in 2014, Rocchi struggled to keep the match under control, as he awarded three penalties, handed out seven yellow cards and sent off Kostas Manolas and Alvaro Morata.
The 46-year-old has claimed he got his 'personal revenge' after the chaotic match with a series of controversial decisions.
“That game taught me a lot, how to react,” Rocchi added. “I must say the following years have been my personal revenge.
“I advise the youngsters to be themselves.”
The match official from Florence was ‘sceptical’ when Serie A introduced VAR in 2017-18 but admitted he has been convinced by an ‘excellent tool’.
“I don’t like the presumptions around the referees. I was sceptical about VAR, but I must say that it’s an excellent tool.
“The result of the match is fairer and more correct.”
Rocchi also claimed it was ‘more difficult’ after the lockdown but praised the Federcalcio for having concluded 2019-20.
“I want to applaud Gravina and the FIGC for having had the tenacity to finish the championship.
“In my career, it was better when I was under pressure. The spectators pushed you and it was more difficult with the empty stands.”
Rocchi has officiated 263 games in Serie A, handing out 1351 yellow, 59 red cards and awarded 132 penalties in the process.
“I would like to say that the best part begins now, I enjoyed myself and did what I enjoy,” Rocchi said. “The future will give me a lot of satisfaction."
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