Champions League

Gianluca Rocchi will referee Wolfsburg-Real Madrid

The Italian referee has been in charge of two Real Madrid games (a win and a draw) and was in charge of a Wolfsburg win in the group stages this season.

Gianluca Rocchi will be the referee when Wolfsburg host Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. This will not be the first time that the 42-year-old Italian will referee a match involving these teams. In fact, he was in charge for one of Wolfsburg’s group stage matches earlier in this season’s competition when they won 2-0 away at CSKA Moscow. Real Madrid’s rival will, therefore, have positive and fresh memories of Rocchi.

Real Madrid have also experienced Rocchi before, although their memories of the Italian are not so recent. He has been in charge of two matches involving Los Blancos. The first time was at the same stage four years ago when he was the man in the middle for Real’s quarter-final second leg against Apoel on April 4 2012. The Spanish side, with a 3-0 advantage from the first leg, had no problem dispatching with the team from Cyprus and won the return leg 5-2. The referee showed just one yellow card in a match with hardly any controversial incidents.

In the next season’s Champions League, Real Madrid were officiated by Rocchi again, but the memories of this meeting are not so positive. They drew 1-1 away from home against Manchester City and the Madrid team ended the match very unhappy with the Italian official after he gave several controversial decisions against Real.

Rocchi took charge of his first Champions League match in the 2009/10 season and has regularly taken charge of matches in Europe’s premier competition. He has not, however, ever taken charge of a match beyond the quarter-finals, although he did once oversee a Europa League semi-final when Villarreal and Porto met in the 2010/11 season.