Nicolae Rainea

Nicolae Rainea (19 November 1933 – 1 April 2015[1]), nicknamed The Locomotive of the Carpathians, was a Romanian football referee and player.

Nicolae Rainea
Nicolae Rainea.jpg
Rainea in 1980
Born (1933-11-19)19 November 1933
Brăila, Romania
Died 1 April 2015(2015-04-01) (aged 81)
Galați, Romania
Other occupation Technician, Footballer
Years League Role
1964–1984 Liga I Referee
Years League Role
1967–1989 FIFA-listed Referee


Nicolae Rainea played football in the lower leagues of Romania for Laminorul Brăila, Metalul Piatra Neamț and Constructorul Bârlad, he retired in 1959 to start his career as a referee, making his debut in Liga I in 1965.[2][3] He refereed at three FIFA World Cups (1974, 1978, 1982), the UEFA Euro 1980 Final, the 1983 European Cup Final, the second leg of the 1978 European Super Cup and the second leg of the 1978 UEFA Cup Final.[4]

Rainea officiated the Italy v Argentina game at the 1982 World Cup. He was linesman in a later match between France and Northern Ireland.

Honours and legacyEdit

Rainea was decorated by two presidents of Romania, Ion Iliescu and Traian Băsescu.[4] He was made honorary citizen of Galați where he resided and served four local council terms.[4]

Nicolae Rainea Stadium in Galați is named after him.

Personal life and deathEdit

In 2011, he celebrated 50 years of marriage.[4] He had a son and a daughter, both living in Sweden.[4]

After an untreated mild cold turned into a pulmonary edema, Rainea suffered a cardiac arrest while in hospital and died on 1 April 2015 in Galați. He was 81 years old.[5]


  1. ^ UEFA Obituary
  2. ^ "Cel mai titrat arbitru român, Nicolae Rainea, a murit din cauza unor complicaţii pulmonare şi cardiace severe" [Romanian top referee Nicolae Rainea died due to severe pulmonary and cardiac complications] (in Romanian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Nicolae Rainea a fost "Regele" arbitrajului" [Nicolae Rainea was the "King" of the arbitration] (in Romanian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Povestea fostului mare arbitru Nicolae Rainea, omul care a înconjurat planeta de cinci ori FOTO". Adevărul. 29 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Nicolae Rainea, cel mai mare arbitru român al tuturor timpurilor, a murit în această dimineaţă. Citeşte un interviu de colecţie acordat Gazetei: "Am făcut performanţă în cele 3 mari domenii din viaţa mea"". GSP. Retrieved 1 April 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Dusan Maksimović
1978 UEFA Cup Final
  Nicolae Rainea
Succeeded by
  Ian Foote
Preceded by
  Károly Palotai
1978 European Super Cup
  Nicolae Rainea
Succeeded by
  Adolf Prokop
Preceded by
  Sergio Gonella
1980 UEFA Euro Final
  Nicolae Rainea
Succeeded by
  Vojtech Christov
Preceded by
  Georges Konrath
1983 European Cup Final
  Nicolae Rainea
Succeeded by
  Erik Fredriksson