Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Unsung hero award: Héctor Vergara

The other day I was gently reminded by a comment here (thank you CWY2190) of the storied career of this man, Héctor Vergara (FIFA bio here).

His contribution to GER v. URU in the 3rd place match was his third game as an assistant referee at the 2010 World Cup and with the appearance, Vergara will set a FIFA record for most World Cup games as a combination of referee and assistant referee with 14.

A FIFA referee since 1993, Vergara has quite a list of laurels to his name including the following:

International Tournaments Refereed

FIFA Referee Profile 2004

  • 1999 CONCACAF US Cup
  • 1998 CONCACAF U-20 World Championship Qualification Tournament
  • 1998 CONCACAF Caribbean Shell Cup
  • 1997 CONCACAF US Cup

This will be Vergara’s last World Cup for certain, and perhaps his final elite matches. He’ll turn 44 in December, and as we know FIFA’s mandatory retirement age is 45. In addition to the above, he has worked 130 internationals, and now 14 of these at the World Cup, breaking a record.

Like almost all of his colleagues, this is a part-time dream as his day job is executive director of the Manitoba Soccer Association. Recently he stated in a recent interview with a Canadian newspaper, “I just want to make my family and friends proud.”. Well sir, I do believe you have accomplished that, and so much more.

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