Szymon Marciniak replies to Tuchel: he was looking for the first person to be blamed for football

Szymon Marciniak is one of four Polish judges to work during the World Cup in Qatar. The Polish arbitrator was, of course, one of the most important judges. Tomasz Listkiewicz and Paweł Sokolnicki are in the line arbitrators’ group and Tomasz Kwiatkowski will be responsible for the VAR analysis.

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Polish referees have had good results this season and Szymon Marciniak has already refereed eight Champions League games, including the quarter-final between Real Madrid and Chelsea and the semi-final where Liverpool played Villarreal. The 41-year-old thus became the first Polish referee to lead a meeting at the level of the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Marciniak talked about his feelings about playing matches of this level in an interview with “Przegląd Sportowy”: – Since 2016 we have become one of the leading European referees and I do not feel that we have dropped out (…) It it’s no coincidence that we had two matches in the 1/8 final, two in 1/4 and another semi-final. Of course there was hope for one of the finals – there was no chance for this Champions League as it was clear that the match at Saint Denis would be led by Frenchman Clement Turpin. Today I know one thing: to referee something special in a championship tournament, you have to have at least the semi-finals of the Champions League behind you. It’s even more important than the Europa League or the Conference League final! I don’t know what the ceiling will be for us in Qatar, so far we have taken the first step – we know we are going there – Marciniak said.

The 41-year-old scored very good marks for the matches he rated, but after Chelsea’s quarter-final with Real Madrid, London’s Thomas Tuchel coach accused Marciniak of being too frivolous towards Carlo Ancelotti, the coach of “Królewskies”: – I was not happy with the Real coach, I just smiled. The Italian is just nice and coach Tuchel didn’t add that Chelsea captain Jorginho was the first to thank for a good game (…) The Chelsea manager was bitter and when he saw me shaking hands with coach Ancelotti I smiled slightly , he could be displeased – he sought the first to blame. It is always easiest to name a judge. But in this particular match, there was no half of the situation that left him feeling hurt. Today, however, I know that you have to be a “surgeon” to the end and just enjoy the wardrobe – Marciniak described the whole situation.

For the Polish referee, this will not be the first world championship in which he will referee. He was previously given the opportunity to do so during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. At that time, Marciniak did not lead such prestigious matches as the aforementioned in the Champions League: – The balloon around me was inflated to the limit, that’s one thing. My sick ambitions and high hopes at the time were the latter. I got high marks for this second game, although things got loud in Poland after I didn’t dictate a penalty to the Scandinavians. I watched that match later and today I say, “It’s more of an elf to me than not.” Before I left Russia, I went to the head of the judges, Pierluigi Collina, and asked if I wanted more appointments. The Italian smiled and said he knows me, he knows I came with an attitude of leading up to six matches, but he has fantastic and experienced umpires at his disposal – added the 41-year-old,

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The arbitrator also said that he suffered serious injuries twice during his career. However, he managed to beat them and is ready to referee in Qatar: – I won’t say I want to be in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals. If my health is good, as it is now, and if I judge at the level I judge now, I’m not afraid of anything, I’m ready for any meeting. You can count on me where I am needed – Marciniak said.

– Previously I had two bad seasons – in the spring of 2019 I suffered from back pain and a hernia, and a year ago, due to postovide complications or thyroid problems, I needed cardiologic treatment because I had tachycardia, ie a disturbance of the heart rhythm. In the spring of 2019 I faced a serious problem: to operate on my spine or not. How many doctors, so many diagnoses. In the end, I decided not to undergo the procedure, but inspected with a “beaten foot”. I was paralyzed in two toes of my right foot, unable to run to the right. It was getting worse, the leg wasn’t leading the way it should. In March I refereed the FC Barcelona – Olympique Lyonnais 1/8 final and took a time-out at UEFA. I went through a decent rehabilitation and recovered without surgery – Marciniak talked about his recovery. According to the schedule, the World Cup in Qatar should start on November 21 and last until December 18.

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