Tuesday’s World Cup semi final will see Argentina face Croatia for a spot in Qatar’s final, but attention first turns to who the official in the middle will be.
La Albiceleste’s quarter-final success over the Netherlands was littered with moments of poor sportsmanship and squabbling, with a now iconic picture of their players celebrating right in front of the Dutch going viral.
Putting emotion to one side, Lionel Messi and Argentina are bidding to reach a first final since 2014 and to win the competition for the first time since 1986.
However, to do so they must beat 2018’s defeated finalists Croatia, who handed Argentina a chastening 3-0 loss during that tournament.
Experienced Italian Daniele Orsato has been tasked with keeping the semi-final in order. Here’s what you need to know about him.
Daniele Orsato is an Italian referee and will be in charge of the World Cup semi-final between Argentina and Croatia.
The 47-year-old officiated his first Serie C game in 2002 and made it to Serie A by 2007. He has since taken charge of over 250 games in Italy’s top flight and is closing in on a half century of Champions League matches officiated – he made his debut in that European competition in 2012, when he presided over Porto’s 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.
Orsato has officiated three Coppa Italia finals and was also in charge of the Champions League final between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in 2020.
His first major competition on the international scene was Euro 2020 where he took charge of three games, handing out 14 cautions and one red card.
The only game Orsato has officiated involving Argentina came earlier in the 2022 World Cup, when he oversaw a 2-0 Albiceleste victory over Mexico and handed out five yellow cards.
Orsato has refereed three Croatia games in total. Wins came against the Czech Republic and Hungary, though the most recent match ended in defeat to England at Euro 2020.
Having been a video assistant referee at the 2018 tournament, Orsato was given Qatar’s curtain-raiser as he refereed the host nation’s clash with Ecuador. He handed out six yellow cards and gave a penalty in a 2-0 Ecuador win before taking charge of Argentina vs Mexico.
Another five cautions were dished out as strikes from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez earned Argentina a 2-0 victory.
The following team will support Orsato during Argentina’s clash with Croatia.