Referee Claus Bo Larsen is one of the most respected individuals in his field. Larsen is what they call a FIFA Top Class Referee meaning that he often is working the biggest games in the world especially during the UEFA Champions League.
And earlier this week Larsen was assigned the same game as Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. The ref believes that Ronaldo is “the most annoying player” in the world and told Ekstra Bladet that he has to mentally prepare for Ronaldo’s “theatrical” flops (in bids to get penalty kicks) whenever he officiates the star’s games:
He’s always out to get a cheap free-kick, especially at home. We tended to talk before games about how he’d go down easily. We know not to be biased, but we have to be prepared. He has a clean slate at the start of every game. When he would lie down after failing to win a free-kick, he smiled at me because he knew I didn’t fall for his theatrics.
It’s an interesting statement coming from an actual official who has to be unbiased as Larsen himself suggested. And I do agree with Larsen that watching Ronaldo at times can be annoying because of his flop-friendly attitude in big matches, but on the other hand I feel fine saying that but would never say it if I was an actual ref.
I’m sure every ref has the people they do and do not like that they work with, but to openly title somebody “the most annoying” is a bit shocking considering you will likely officiate many more of the player’s matches. The only conclusion I can come to why Larsen would say such a bold statement to the press is because Cristiano Ronaldo must be a really annoying person to referee.
Really, really, really annoying….