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Luis Medina Cantalejo (born 1 March 1964) is a retired Spanish football referee.

Luis Medina Cantalejo
Cantalejo (left) in 2009
Full name Luis Medina Cantalejo
Born 1 March 1964
Seville, Spain
Other occupation Sports assessor
Years League
La Liga
Years League
2004–2009 UEFA

Professionally, Medina Cantalejo is a sports assessor who lives in Tomares, west of Seville. He was one of the few officials allowed to officiate the domestic clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona.[1] His first experience as an international referee came on 4 September 2004, between Turkey and Georgia, in a preliminary qualifier for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


On 21 August 2005, Cantalejo referred the Russian Premier League match between CSKA Moscow and Zenit St.Petersburg.[2][3]

He was selected to officiate the playoff between Uruguay and Australia for the final spot in the World Cup on 16 November 2005.

He was promoted at the last minute to officiate matches at the finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup after assistants of two other referees failed to meet the FIFA standards.[4] He subsequently officiated three matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup: Germany v. Poland, Netherlands v. Argentina, and Italy v. Australia. In the round of 16 match between Italy and Australia, he made some controversial decisions, including showing Italy's Marco Materazzi a straight red card for a challenge on Australia's Mark Bresciano, and later awarded an injury time penalty to Italy after adjudging Australian defender Lucas Neill to have fouled Italian full back Fabio Grosso in the penalty area; Francesco Totti converted the ensuing spot kick to score and give the Italians a 1–0 victory.[5][6][7][8][9]

Two days after the Australia–Italy game FIFA announced that Medina was one of the twelve referees retained for the remainder of the tournament. He refereed the quarter-final between Brazil and France on 1 July.

Medina was appointed as fourth official for the FIFA World Cup Final between Italy and France and was involved in another important decision during the final, as none of the three officials on the field saw Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi. He informed referee Horacio Elizondo what had happened via headset.[10] The French captain was then shown the red card.[11]

Cantalejo was chosen to officiate the 2008 UEFA European Championship qualifying match between England and Russia.

On 20 May 2009 Medina refereed the UEFA Cup Final between Shakhtar Donetsk and Werder Bremen.[12]


  1. ^ "World Cup 2006 Referees". Reuters. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  2. ^ "CSKA Moscow 0-0 Zenit St.Petersburg". (in Russian). Russian Premier Liga. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Cantalejo luis medina". (in Russian). Russian Premier Liga. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  4. ^ "23 referees from 21 countries". FIFA Press Release. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  5. ^ Nick Miller (5 December 2014). "Golden goal: Fabio Grosso for Italy v Germany (2006)". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Gardiner, Andy (27 June 2006). "Late Totti penalty kick sends Italy past Australia". USA Today. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  7. ^ Mark Landler (27 June 2006). "A Tumble, a Whistle and a Controversial Victory for Italy". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  8. ^ Thomas Cooper (19 November 2009). "Football's worst injustices". CNN. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Late, disputed penalty knocks out Australia". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2006-06-28.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Fourth official: I saw Zidane's headbutt". Reuters/ESPN. Retrieved 2006-07-11.
  12. ^ "Luis Medina Cantalejo to referee UEFA Cup final". Union of European Football Associations. 18 May 2009. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2009.

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