Mateu Lahoz, a referee who has been officiating LaLiga matches since 2008, will be refereeing the crunch Saudi League title match between Al Nassr and Al Ittihad. Cristiano Ronaldo will captain Al Nassr in this crucial match. However, Lahoz is not popular among top stars like Lionel Messi, who he angered during the World Cup. During Argentina’s quarter-final clash with the Netherlands, Lahoz brandished a record-breaking 18 yellow cards. Messi was not happy with Lahoz’s performance and said that FIFA must take care of this and that the referee cannot fail to be up to the task.
After returning from the winter tournament, Lahoz caused a stir again when he brought out 15 yellow cards, two reds, and even awarded a late penalty to visitors Espanyol as they stole a 1-1 draw at city rivals Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Despite this, Lahoz will now referee a crucial game in Saudi Arabia between Al Nassr and title rivals Al Ittihad.
There are just two points between league leaders Al Nassr and second-place Al Ittihad going into Thursday’s clash. Lahoz would have taken charge of many Real Madrid games when Ronaldo was at the club between 2009 and 2018. Ronaldo has eight goals in six Al Nassr appearances and will be hoping to lead his team to victory in this crucial match.
Overall, it remains to be seen how Lahoz will perform in this important match. While he has been known to anger top stars like Messi in the past, he has also been a familiar face to Ronaldo during his time at Real Madrid. With just two points separating the top two teams in the Saudi League, every decision made by the referee could potentially impact the outcome of the match.