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Top 10 Highest-Paid Referees in the World

Are you wondering who the highest-paid referees in the world are? Then, you have stopped at the right place to get informed. Referees are a very important set of people in games, among other sporting activities. Examples of these games are football, tennis, cricket, basketball, etc. Referees are in charge of interpreting and carrying out the game’s rules. Read down to see the leading 10 highest-paid referees in the world.

Well-Paid Referees in the World | Leading 10

Below here is a list of the leading 10 highest-paid referees in the world:

1. Mark Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg is the highest-paid referee in the world. He has played for FIFA, Durham County Football Association, and the Premier League. Besides, Mark has officiated big matches like the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2016 UEFA Euro 2016 Final. Mark is recognized as one of the best European referees of his generation.

Mark was appointed as a FIFA referee at the age of 30 in 2006. On May 11, 2006, he officiated Alan Shearer’s testimonial game. Also, as a Newcastle United supporter, Mark does not officiate Newcastle football club-related competitive games.

On September 9, 2006, in the Gradski Stadium in Skopje, he oversaw a qualifier between Macedonia and Denmark for the 2007 UEFA Under-17s Championship; the away team won 3-0. On our list of the top 10 highest-paid referees in the world, Mark Clattenburg comes in first.

2. Damir Skomina

Damir Skomina ranks 2nd position on the list of the top 10 highest-paid referees in the world. He has officiated numerous games including the UEFA EURO 2008, and the Olympic football tournament quarterfinals, among others. Damir is popular the most successful referee in Slovenia.

Damir started playing in 1992 and made his first professional entrance in the match between Korta and Rakek in the Primorska League. Later on, he officiated in the Slovenian football league, UEFA Champions League, and the Olympic Games, etc. Damir has over 17 years of experience in refereeing.

3. Cüneyt Çakır

Cüneyt Çakır also falls among the leading 10 highest-paid referees in the world. He is a former Turkish football official who gained popularity after presiding over the 2015 Juventus vs. Barcelona UEFA Champions League Final. Since then, Çakır has officiated numerous games like the Intercontinental Derby between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Sweden, and many others. He has officiated more than 250 games in all.

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4. Björn Kuipers

Björn Kuipers is one of the best-paid referees in the world. He is a former Dutch football official who has been listed on the FIFA official list since 2006 and on the UEFA Elite group official list since 2009. Kuipers who is also a businessman in the grocery industry has officiated in two World Cups and three European Championships.

Also, Kuipers has officiated several important domestic matches in the KNVB Beker, the Johan Cruijff Schaal, and the Eerste Divisie. Kuipers refereed last during the Johan Cruyff Shield match against Ajax and PSV on August 7, 2021. Then, he announced his retirement from refereeing on July 29, 2021.

5. Dr. Felix Brych

Felix Brych ranks 5th place on the list of the top 10 highest-paid referees in the world. He is a football official from Germany. Dr. Felix officiates matches for the Bavarian Football Association’s SV Am Hart München. He is a UEFA elite category referee and a FIFA referee.

Brych began refereeing in the Bundesliga in 2004 and was given a FIFA badge in 2007. He oversaw Romania’s 2-0 triumph over Luxembourg in Group G of the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying competition in October of that same year.

Brych presided over matches between Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven in the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League Group D in October 2008 and the match between Panathinaikos and Rangers in the 2007–08 UEFA Cup Round of 32 in February 2008.

6. Clément Turpin

Clément Turpin is one of the highest-paid referees in the world. He is a French football referee who has been on the FIFA list since 2010 and a member of the UEFA Elite group since 2012. Clément became a FIFA official in 2010. He oversaw the 2014 and 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. Also, he began refereeing UEFA club tournaments in the 2010 – 2011 UEFA Europa League.

Clément was named the best French referee by French Football in May 2016. He refereed in both the UEFA Euro 2016 in France and the Men’s Olympic Games football competition in Brazil. Clément was one of the five UEFA referees in 2016. Also, Clément has officiated in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 2021 UEFA Europa League Final 2021, etc.

7. Antonio Mateu

Antonio Mateu ranks 7th place among the top 10 highest-paid referees in the world. He is a football referee from the Spanish association. Antonio is an international referee and has officiated in many matches including La Liga matches, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2021 UEFA Champions League Final, among others. Antonio Mateu is well-known for his ‘quirky’ and talkative refereeing style.

8. Danny Makkelie

Danny is a Dutch professional football referee and is also among the top 10 highest-paid referees in the world. He is a UEFA Elite referee and has officiated in numerous matches/tournaments. Some of Danny’s officiated matches/tournaments are the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, the 2020 UEFA Europa League Final, the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final, the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, etc.

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9. Daniele Orsato

Daniele Orsato is one of the best-paid referees in the world. He became a FIFA official in 2010. Orsato has presided over matches at both the 2012 Euro qualifications and the 2014 World Cup. Also, he has presided over matches during the group stage of the UEFA Champions League championships in 2012–13, 2013–14, and 2014–15. In the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League in 2016, Orsato presided over the contest between PSV Eindhoven and Atlético Madrid, etc.

10. Gianluca Rocchi

Gianluca Rocchi takes 10th place among the top 10 highest-paid referees in the world. He started his career as a referee in 1990. Since then, Rocchi has officiated 38 matches throughout 3 Serie C seasons starting in 2000.

Rocchi made his U.S. Lecce-Reggina Calcio debut before being elevated to the higher series (16 May 2004). When the National Referee Committee for Serie A and Serie B split in 2010, he was granted a committee duty for Serie A. Also, he made his international debut on May 26, 2008, in a friendly match between the national under-19 football teams of Greece and the Netherlands. Gianluca Rocchi has continued to officiate in big matches and tournaments all around the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Highest-Paid Referees?

The highest-paid referees of any sport are those in the NBA, the world’s biggest basketball league. Elite NBA refs like James Capers have a reported salary of $550,000, with the chance to earn more by officiating playoff games. Even without post-season games included, the average salary of an NBA ref is $375,000.

Who is the Richest FIFA Referee?

Highest paid football referees in 2021 confirmed after increment of Premier league referees’ salaries and La Liga referees’ salaries. The highest-paid referee in the world is Antonio Mateu Lahoz from Spain.

How much do FIFA Referees Earn?

The salary for a referee ranges from $27 to $50 per youth game. The MLS pays $900 per game; Spain has the highest-paid referees. They get $6,354 per game!

Who are the Top 8 Best Referees in the World?

These are the top 8 best referees in the world:

  1. Oscar Ruiz
  2. Markus Merk
  3. Howard Webb
  4. Pedro Proenca
  5. Michel Vautrot
  6. Peter Mikkelsen
  7. Sandor Puhl
  8. Kim Milton Nielsen


The pay for referees is very rewarding. Without referees, games are incomplete. Some of the top 10 best-paid referees in the world are Mark Clattenburg, Damir Skomina, Cüneyt Çakır, Felix Brych, and many others. Simply read the above write-up carefully to get more details.

Good luck!

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