The Champions League semifinal has a big referee for a big occasion.
UEFA has appointed Turkish referee Cuneyt Çakir to officiate the first match of the European Cup semifinal clash between Manchester City and Real Madrid, which will take place at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. This will be Çakir's seventh UCL assignment in the 2015/16 season.
The 39-year-old is one of the best referees in the world. A FIFA official for over 10 years, Çakir has climbed the ranks and is usually assigned to the biggest matches, including the Champions League Final between Barcelona and Juventus last season. Çakir has a great reputation for being a fair official who knows how to manage a difficult, high-pressure match.
Both teams involved in this Tuesday's clash have already played European matches officiated by the Turkish: City had two games in the Europa League in 2010 and 2012, with two wins and a total of 16 cards handed out. Real Madrid played four European fixtures under Çakir's watch, all in the Champions League, with 3 wins and one draw, with 13 total cards being shown.
So the takeaway is: both teams have success with the Turkish, and we might see plenty of bookings if the game gets intense and physical. Should be fun.