Mark Clattenburg Reveals The 'Gentleman' In The Premier League
Growing up as a kid, everybody wants to be a professional footballer. But some dreams don't always come to fruition. That's where being a referee comes into play.
The story of Mark Clattenburg's professional career.
He took it up as a hobby, and has since refereed some of the biggest games in the world. From tasty Premier League fixtures to the coveted Champions League final.
"When you're a child, everybody wants to be a professional footballer," he told Paddy Power.
"You realise that not everyone can make it. I took up refereeing as a hobby, and I progressed through and, all of a sudden, I was thrust into the professional game, and it became a job."
Clattenburg officiated the 2016 Champions League final, as well as the Manchester derby while branding City captain Vincent Kompany a 'absolute legend' and a player who makes refereeing very easy.
"You have people like Vincent Kompany, who is an absolute legend. I sent him off playing for Belgium against Israel, and the next time I seen him the first thing he says is 'Mark, you made the right decision.'
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"I remember making a mistake before half-time in a game once, and he was waiting for me at the start of the second-half to say 'Mark, even the best referees in the world make mistakes.' You can't argue with that.
"I really respected him, he was such a gentleman. When I first started refereeing, even if I made a mistake he wouldn't criticise me. If you had a good game he would come up at the end of the game and say so. He'd encourage you without criticism."
And then there's the other side of the spectrum.
Clattenburg recalls how Craig Bellamy would constantly abuse him, ultimately making the already tough gig even harder.
"You'd have the opposite with Craig Bellamy, who'd just abuse you constantly. When you're a young referee that didn't help because you always had negative feelings in your head after it."
The life of a referee.
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