Paolo Tagliavento has retired from refereeing and admits his biggest mistake was Sulley Muntari’s ‘ghost goal’ during Milan-Juventus in 2012.
Tagliavento, who turns 46 in September, has officiated in Serie A for the past 14 years and was a FIFA and UEFA referee between 2007 and 2017.
However, his career was marred by several controversial incidents, from testifying during the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 to his role as fourth official in the recent Inter-Juve match, although he admits not allowing Muntari’s goal will go down as his most ‘obvious’ error.
“I shed a few tears when [designator Nicola] Rizzoli and the other Serie A referees saluted me. It was a moving moment,” he told Il Messaggero.
“[Daniele] De Rossi’s hug wasn’t the only one: I had a relationship of mutual esteem and affection with many players.
“I’m calm, I made my dream come true, even if I’d have liked to officiate a World Cup Final or one in European competition.
“Calciopoli? It was a terrible period, which fortunately didn’t last long. I was a stranger to it all, as justice has proved.
“Being a referee has been a school of life: at 15-17 years of age, you learn how to make decisions and grow up quicker.
“Mourinho’s handcuffs? They bothered me, but only for a moment. Everyone said I had managed it very well.
“Muntari’s goal is my most obvious mistake, today it would’ve been avoided in 1/10 of a second with the VAR.
“My future? I’d like to put my experience into teaching [new referees].”