I criticize the referees alot. When I played, I yelled alot, despite having some pretty negative experiences being a ref. So I try to praise as well as criticize.
Hector Baldassi had a great game today reffing Spain v Portugal. My notes after the first half said, “flawless performance from ref.” I suppose Portugal fans might disagree with me, since he didn’t fall for any of Cristiano Ronaldo’s dives and he gave out a late red card to Portuguese defender Ricardo Costa for his elbow to Joan Capdevila’s face. There’s no camera angle I can find that shows whether Costa made contact, but I’m inclined to think that he did, since Capdevila would have been taking a huge risk of giving up the win in order to get a redcard that wouldn’t matter. Also, Costa didn’t really protest as you assume he would if Capdevila had taken a total dive.
I didn’t know until afterwards that Baldassi is an Argentine. Well done, sir. From watching the Argentine league, I know the refs don’t mess around with elbows to the face.
To watch the inconclusive camera angles: