Arnaldo Cézar Coelho

Arnaldo David Cézar Coelho (born 15 January 1943) is a former football referee. He was the first Brazilian, indeed first non-European to take charge of the FIFA World Cup final when he officiated in the 1982 final between Italy and West Germany.

Arnaldo Cézar Coelho
25º Prêmio da Música Brasileira (14192532915) (cropped).jpg
Born (1943-01-15) January 15, 1943 (age 77)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Other occupation Sports commentator in TV; businessman
Years League Role
1968-1982 FIFA-listed Referee

Coelho's career began as a beach soccer referee; became professional in 1965 (at one time, famously, telling reporters that he was the highest paid match official in the world)[citation needed] and was appointed to the international list in 1968. He was selected for both the 1978 and 1982 FIFA World Cups. In total he officiated in seven matches during the World Cup finals, three as a referee (the mentioned final from 1982 included).

After the end of his refereeing career, he became a football TV commentator for Rede Globo. In March 2010, The Daily Mail newspaper reporter and retired referee Graham Poll listed Coelho as one of the top referees, citing his excellent performance in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups.[1]

Coelho's brother is Ronaldo Cezar Coelho, a representative and founder of the Social Democratic Party in Brazil (PSDB).


  1. ^ Graham Poll (5 March 2010). "THE LIST: Graham Poll's top 50 football referees - Nos 10-1". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 December 2010. But what about the men - and women (as Amy Rayner recently showed) - in the black who have made the right judgment calls in the big matches, when it matters? 10 Arnaldo Cezar Coelho Brazil (1978 World Cup, 1982 World Cup final)
Sporting positions
Arnaldo Cézar Coelho
Preceded by
1978 FIFA World Cup Final
Sergio Gonella
1982 FIFA World Cup Final Referee Succeeded by
1986 FIFA World Cup Final
Romualdo Arppi Filho