The World Cup final officials were close to tears when they found out they had been awarded the fixture, it has been revealed.
Assistant referee Michael Mullarkey – who will run the lines with Darren Cann while Howard Webb takes control in the middle – cannot wait for Sunday’s clash between Spain and the Netherlands.
“We had not been chosen for any of the quarter-finals or the semi-finals so you do start to wonder about things,” he said. “When we were actually told it was an incredible moment. When I was sitting at home watching the 2006 World Cup on television I never envisaged that I would be here doing the final.”
Meanwhile 38-year-old Webb described being chosen as an “honour and a privilige”
“We are delighted to have been selected for the game,” the Englishman added. “It is the ultimate honour for a referee. We are proud to be representing the English FA as well as FIFA and all the other officials here at the World Cup. We will be proud to be able to show the ability and quality of match officials in England when we take to the field tomorrow evening. This is the World Cup, and it’s massively important for the world. We understand the importance of the game and we will need total focus and concentration. We will try to be a calming influence where we can and use all our experience of being involved in big games.”