He insulted Szymon Marciniak. His colleague ran up to him and yelled: “You fool!” –
A colleague came running up and shouted, “You idiot!” Then a guy ran up to us and said, “You fool, do you even know who he is?”
– recounts a story from Polish football referee Szymon Marciniak. It turns out that not even all soccer players recognize the best Polish referee.
Marciniak has officiated matches in events such as the World Cup and the Champions League. In 2022, he even officiated the final of the World Cup in Qatar, and a few months later the Champions League final.
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Brutal opinion. As he says on the “Cały ten Majdan” podcast, sometimes these types of matches are much harder than those at the highest levels.
During matches with children and in lower-stakes games such as in the district league, Marciniak encounters incredible honesty. Sometimes players don’t even recognize him.
One player, not knowing who he was, called him the best district league referee. “I will never forget when before the World Cup, I went to referee a match between Świt Staroźreby and Skrwa Łukomie in the district league.
After the match, a young player came up to me, high-fived me and said, “You are the best referee in the district league.” I thanked him, and then some guy ran up to us and said to the player, “You fool, do you know who this is?
This is Marciniak.” I saw that he really didn’t know who I was.
It was very sincere,” he recalls. Marciniak was recognized as the 2022 and 2023 referee by the IFFHS, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
No Polish referee had ever received such an honor before.