Preparations for the 2014 UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon have begun, with Dutchman Bjorn Kuipers named as the match official for the European showpiece finale.
The final will be the first time in tournament history that both teams come from the same city, but for those Real fans superstitious about the final against Atletico, the fact that Kuipers has never officiated a Real win in Europe will be of concern.
The 41-year-old officiated two Real games in the past since becoming a UEFA affiliated referee in 2006, both in the 12-13 Champions League, and Real drew 1-1 with CSKA Moscow and the 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg semi final.
Kuipers has never taken charge of a Atletico game, and his only game in the knockout stage of this season was Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Olympiakos.
However, the Dutchman has taken charge of European finals before, as he was in the middle for Chelsea’s last gasp 2-1 win over Benfica in the 2013 Europa League final last season.
And he also took charge of last year’s Confederations Cup final as Brazil won 3-0 against Spain in the warm up to this years World Cup Finals this June which take place in the South American country.