Antonio Mateu Lahoz, the referee of the 2021 Champions League final, was spotted in tears after he had blown the full-time whistle on Saturday evening.
Kai Havertz's opener just before the interval was the only goal of the final as Chelsea swept aside Manchester City – preventing a City treble – in a solid defensive performance.
Lahoz received widespread praise for his performance; he was stoic in his decision on a City penalty claim that could have seen the Citizens level.
And following the match, Lahoz was unable to contain his emotions as he blew the full-time whistle one last time before retiring.
“Honestly, I never really imagined that, one day, I would referee a Champions League final," the Spaniard told UEFA before the final.
"Refereeing is happiness for me, and I think the key to being a referee is to always be yourself. When you referee a match, you're taking charge of many different personalities. You’re part of the game.
“I like to teach, and like to learn,” he continued when prompted about his retirement.
“It’s good to pass on the experience that you’ve gained to younger referees. I like helping my colleagues in this way.”
Lahoz isn't quite finished yet; in a couple of weeks time, he will be part of the refereeing team to oversee the Euro's – before he hangs up his whistle for good.
He also admitted a return to the sport would be unlikely, however, when he calls its quits in the summer.
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