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Thursday 19 July 2012

Webb revels in Euro 2012 experience

Select Group referee proud to be involved in memorable tournament

Howard Webb officiated at his third major international tournament this summer

Select Group referee Howard Webb says his experience at UEFA Euro 2012 can only assist him as he prepares for the upcoming Barclays Premier League campaign.

The 41-year-old Yorkshireman was selected to officiate at his third international tournament this summer, following his participation at UEFA Euro 2008 and FIFA World Cup 2010.

His appointment at UEFA Euro 2012 adds another high-profile competition to his already impressive CV, which includes the UEFA Champions League final and the FIFA World Cup final which were both in 2010.

"Big-match experience and exposure benefits you massively," Webb told premierleague.com

"Big-match experience and exposure benefits you massively"
- Howard Webb

"It gives you confidence for the future, it gives you more credibility, I guess, and it’s nice to be able to do what you do at the very highest level. The players want to be there as well.

"What I have seen is that the international and domestic styles have got closer but part of the job of the referee is to understand what is required on the day.

"There's always slightly different chemistry on the field, there's slightly different football culture which is normal. There's one set of laws in the game but you have to understand how to manage a particular game within those laws."

Webb was one of 12 referees named for Euro 2012 and he headed a team of four assistant referees and additional assistant referees including Peter Kirkup, Michael Mullarkey, Martin Atkinson and Mark Clattenburg.

And Webb believes that English refereeing is held in high regard by European and world football.

"English refereeing is strong at the minute," he said. "We have developed good referees in this country over a period of time.

"We have invested in time and development and we have managed to nurture a number of good referees.

"You have got guys that are getting better and better all the time and they are being handed more and more challenging international games. And from every international game they take charge of, they benefit when they come back to the Premier League."

"Major tournaments are a great thing to be involved in"
- Howard Webb

Webb took charge of three matches in Euro 2012, the group stage contests between Russia and the Czech Republic and Croatia v Italy as well as the quarter-final between the Czech Republic and Portugal.

He was also the fourth official for the Italy v Germany semi-final and the former Rotherham policeman said he was proud to have been part of such a positive event.

"It was a fantastic experience," he added.

"The product we saw was a good one, the players got on with the game, acceptance of the decisions was high, there was little controversy which was nice and nobody spoke about the referees.

"That was good from our point of view so we felt pleased about that.

"Major tournaments are a great thing to be involved in; there is a buzz about the place. The cities are transformed.

"The reaction to us in Poland was really positive. They were overwhelmingly supportive of us when we got there and that's because they see us on Premier League and Champions League football.

"They like what we do in Premier League football I am sure. They like the product, they like the excitement and they like the way it is handled."

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Key Points

  • Man City's David Silva set brilliant Spain on their way with the first goal
  • Jordi Alba scored a second and Italy were forced to play for half an hour with 10 men
  • Fernando Torres scored the third off the bench and set up a fourth for Juan Mata