Nicola Rizzoli of Italy will referee the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, FIFA has announced.
With a European side facing a South American team, many had expected FIFA to appoint an Asian referee for Sunday’s global showpiece.
But Jim Boyce, the chairman of the FIFA’s refereeing committee, said: “We choose the best referees for the best matches, and the Italian will referee the final.”
Rizzoli has officiated three matches at this year’s tournament, including two played by Argentina; their quarter-final victory over Belgium and the group stage win over Nigeria.
The qualified architect also handled the high-profile match between Netherlands and Spain on the second day of the tournament.
He also took charge of the all-German UEFA Champions League final at Wembley in 2013 – when Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 – and sent off Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny during their 2-0 defeat by Bayern in a Champions League match in February.