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By ESPN Staff
May 19, 2008

Slovakian ref Michel chosen for UCL final

UEFA have confirmed that Slovakian referee Lubos Michel will take charge of the Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Michel, who turned 40 last week, was the referee who awarded a highly-controversial goal to Liverpool against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the competition in 2005.

Then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho always insisted the shot from Luis Garcia had never crossed the line.

Michel is one of the top referees in the world, however, and is highly experienced having officiated at both Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, including the tense Germany v Argentina game in the first knock-out round.

He also refereed the 2003 UEFA Cup final where Mourinho's Porto triumphed over Celtic.

Language barriers should not be a problem either as Michel speaks English, Russian, German and Polish as well as his native tongue.

At Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, Michel will be backed by the assistant referees who have accompanied him at his major tournaments: Roman Slysko (34) and Martin Balko (36).

The fourth official will be Vladimir Hrinak (44), also of Slovakia.

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