Arnaldo Cézar Coelho

Arnaldo David Cézar Coelho (born 15 January 1943) is a former football referee. He was the first Brazilian, indeed the 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) 15 January 1943 (age 79)
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; he 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 2009, The Times listed him in seventh place in its list of "top ten football referees".[1]

Coelho's brother is Ronaldo Cezar Coelho, a representative and founder of the Social Democratic Party in Brazil (PSDB), his mother is from a Moroccan Jewish family.


  1. ^ "The top ten football referees". The Times. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2020.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
  Arnaldo Cézar Coelho
Preceded by 1982 FIFA World Cup Final Referee Succeeded by