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Luis Medina Cantalejo

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Title: Luis Medina Cantalejo  
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Subject: 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, 2006 FIFA World Cup officials, 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, 2005–06 UEFA Champions League group stage
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Luis Medina Cantalejo

Luis Medina Cantalejo
Cantalejo (left) in 2009
Full name Luis Medina Cantalejo
Born 1 March 1964
Other occupation Sports assessor
Years League
La Liga
Years League
2004–2009 UEFA

Luis Medina Cantalejo (born 1 March 1964) is a retired Spanish football referee.

Professionally, Medina Cantalejo is a sports assessor who lives in 2006 FIFA World Cup.


  • Australia v Uruguay 2005 (World Cup Qualifier) 1
  • 2006 World Cup 2
  • Russia v England 2007 (Euro Qualifier) 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Australia v Uruguay 2005 (World Cup Qualifier)

He was selected to officiate the playoff between Uruguay and Australia for the final spot in the World Cup on 16 November 2005. His performance in this game drew criticism from the Australian and Uruguayan media and publics alike. Cantalejo blew for over 50 fouls in the match and let rough play and professional fouls occur repeatedly throughout the game without brandishing a red card. (Tony Popović seemed to elbow Álvaro Recoba in the face and only received a yellow card, and Pablo García continually committed professional fouls without going in to the book.) However Catalejo's performance was largely overlooked in the aftermath of the match in the Australian media, who focussed more on Australia's qualification rather than on Catalejo's officiating.

2006 World Cup

He was promoted at the last minute to officiate matches at the finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup after assistants of two other referees failed to meet the FIFA standards.[2] He subsequently officiated three matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup: Germany v. Poland, Netherlands v. Argentina, and Italy v. Australia.

During the Italy vs Australia game he made several controversial decisions, including showing Italy's Marco Materazzi a straight red card for a challenge on Australia's Marco Bresciano, and a disputed penalty kick awarded after contact between Italy's Fabio Grosso and Australia's Lucas Neill in the penalty area, four minutes into stoppage time. The penalty kick, which Francesco Totti converted to give Italy a 1–0 victory, was the final kick of the match. When asked about the penalty call, Australia coach Guus Hiddink said "If you saw the replay, I don't think there was any doubt that it was not a penalty," while Italy coach Marcello Lippi said "There were two fouls on (Grosso). He didn't go down on the first and he continued dribbling, and then he sustained another clear foul. (Neill) didn't throw his body on the field because he thought he'd get the ball."[3] In April 2006, Medina made a similarly controversial call in a game between Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona, which drew scathing criticism from Real Madrid player David Beckham.[4]

Two days after the Australia-Italy game FIFA announced that Medina was one of the twelve referees retained for the remainder of the tournament. He refereed the quarter final between Brazil and France on 1 July.

Medina was appointed as fourth official for the FIFA World Cup Final between Italy and France and was involved in another important decision during the final, as none of the three officials on the field saw Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi. He informed referee Horacio Elizondo what had happened via headset.[5] The French captain was then shown the red card. Medina denied press reports and French allegations that it was only after seeing video evidence of Zidane's infraction that he chose to intervene.[6]

Russia v England 2007 (Euro Qualifier)

Cantalejo was chosen to officiate the 2008 UEFA European Championship qualifying match between England and Russia. In the first half of this match, which would have guaranteed England a place in the final competition, England's Wayne Rooney scored the opening goal from what appeared to be an offside position, but this went unnoticed by the officials. At the beginning of the second half, Rooney brought down Konstantin Zyryanov on the edge of the penalty box. Cantalejo ruled that the foul took place inside the penalty box, yet his assistant and the replay showed Rooney had fouled Zyryanov just outside the penalty box. Russian substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko successfully took the penalty to equalise, before three minutes later scoring another bringing the score to 2–1, the final score. Cantalejo was highly criticised and blamed for the loss by England supporters and England manager Steve McClaren.


  1. ^ "World Cup 2006 Referees". Reuters. Retrieved 2006-06-27. 
  2. ^ "23 referees from 21 countries". FIFA Press Release. Retrieved 2006-06-27. 
  3. ^ "Late, disputed penalty knocks out Australia". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2006-06-28. 
  4. ^ "Spanish referees under fire after weekend controversy". Reuters. Retrieved 2006-06-27. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Fourth official: I saw Zidane's headbutt". Reuters/ESPN. Retrieved 2006-07-11. 

External links

  • profile
  • Profile on
  • Italy v. Australia Match Report
Preceded by
UEFA Cup Final 2008
Peter Fröjdfeldt
UEFA Cup Final Referees
Final 2009
Luis Medina Cantalejo
Succeeded by
UEFA Europa League Final 2010
Nicola Rizzoli
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