Howard Webb has said refereeing Spain’s World Cup win over the Netherlands in 2010 was the highlight of his career.
The English official took charge of the 1-0 win for La Roja and in an interview with FIFA’s official website, recounted his memories of the occasion.
“[I remember] walking towards the pitch, picking up the golden Jabulani ball and going past the World Cup trophy,” Webb said.
“I’d seen it many times before, both on television and in replicas, but there I was next to the real thing.
“It was the shiniest piece of metal I’ve ever seen in my life: a golden statue with a globe on top and a green base. It’s incredible.
“It had been a dream of mine. It was a great honour to be there.
“Even speaking about it now my hairs – not the ones on my head as I don’t have any – but the ones on the back of my neck stand up on end!
“It was fantastic. That final completely changed my life.”
Webb revealed that he has watched the game back and felt his performance was one he could be proud of.
“[I’ve watched it] just once. And I waited four weeks to do so,” Webb added.
“I sat down and watched the whole match with a friend. I wanted to keep the memory of what I had experienced alive which is why I haven’t seen it again.
“It was a difficult game and I think it turned out better than I thought it had at the time. I was extremely focused on my job that night. Now it lives on in my mind and in my heart.”
Webb admitted there are decisions he would like to change but doesn’t want to have any regrets, and feels he did the best he could at the time.
“You have to make decisions according to the information you have and the position you’re in,” he continued.
“It was a very tough game and you learn from experiences like that. I would have preferred for us not to be so involved in the match.
“We always want people to talk about how great the game was and the goals that were scored, but that was a very tight, intense game.
“You have to deal with what’s in front of you and do what you think is best with the right intentions. That’s what we did.”