Germany head coach Joachim Loew (left) shakes hands with referee Marco Antonio Rodriguez (center) after his team's FIFA World Cup semifinal win over Brazil at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY- After overseeing two games at the recently completed World Cup in Brazil, Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rodriguez announced Wednesday his retirement from refereeing, bringing a close to an remarkable career.
In his third appearance at the FIFA event, the 40-year-old officiated Italy-Uruguay in the group stage and followed it up with the Brazil-Germany semifinal encounter.
"I know that everything in this life has a time,” said Rodriguez. “Everything in life has a beginning and an end. I have taken the decision with great conviction, great joy, great peace in my heart in a very clear way that Marco Rodriguez closed his cycle as an active referee after the World Cup.”
In 2013, Rodriguez was named the first-ever CONCACAF Referee of the Year after being entrusted with many of the Confederation’s biggest matches. He was in the middle for the memorable 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) final, second-leg meeting between Monterrey and Santos. Additionally, Rodriguez refereed a pair of games in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, World Cup Qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Though his international career started on March 3, 1999, with a Paraguay-Guatemala friendly, Rodriguez grew his reputation in Mexican first division.
"The LIGA Bancomer MX is an extremely competitive league,” he noted. “Our league, our players, the physical, psychological and technical demands that necessitate proper performance for every game of our league to be a good team. I honestly think, humbly, that we did a professional job, which I had the pleasure of and I am satisfied to have met.”
Rodriguez, whose last official CONCACAF match was Toluca-Cruz Azul in the second leg of the 2013/14 CCL final, will take time to consider his future professional options.