Familiar referee for Argentina vs. Croatia at FIFA World Cup


Ravshan IRMATOV has been confirmed as the referee for the Argentina vs. Croatia match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

From Uzbekistan, the 40 year old referee was also in charge of the match at the 2010 FIFA World Cup when Argentina lost 4-0 to Germany. If you’re into superstition, it’s not a good omen for Jorge SAMPAOLI’s men.

In 2008 and 2009, IRMATOV was named as the best Asian referee by the Asian football federation. He has also taken part in the last two FIFA World Cup tournaments in South Africa and Brazil as well as the U20 FIFA World Cup in Canada where Sergio AGUERO lifted the trophy.


  1. I phoned my old pal Doctor Strange yesterday. Put him on speakerphone and Messi was there too.
    Excerpt from the conversation:-
    Dr. Stephen Strange: I went forward in time… to view alternate futures. To see all the possible outcomes of the coming World Cup.

    Jorge: How many did you see?

    Dr. Stephen Strange: Fourteen million six hundred and five.

    Messi: How many did we win?

    Dr. Stephen Strange: …One.

  2. intresting to see if hector cuper will be able to win the russians with egypt, 3 years allready at helm of egypt and salah is back on the field too ! Egypt deffinetly need win to this one otherwise is good bye, for them and i quess for cuper too !

  3. i think croatians will be just happy with draw and wish that iceland will at least play a draw against nigerians ! So no exuses anymore no matter who’s is going to play with us, really ! offcourse biglia, diva, rojo should deffinetly not play neither rhey should be in russia at all, but i’s all too late for that so win or die !

  4. The situation of Pavon/Di Maria reminds me a lot of the situation of El Piojo Lopez and Kily Gonzales in World Cup 2002 also as the left forward. At the time we had 2 equally good left forward in the speedy El Piojo and the powerful Kily. I know we failed in 2002, but what Bielsa did was very wise at the time:

    He would tell El Piojo to waste all his stamina in the first 45 minutes against Nigeria because he knew (or he was told) that he would be replaced by Kily in the second half. Against England, it was Kily’s turn to start and El Piojo came in the second half for him.

    We have a very similar situation now with Pavon and Di Maria. They both are without doubt among Messi’s favorite teammates. If I were Sampaoli, I would tell whoever starting among them to run around like crazy for 45 minutes because the other one will replace him in the second half.

    This is a big advantage for us because none of them would need to conserve their energy knowing they would play 45 minutes or 65 minutes at most.

    Anyway we lost in World Cup 2002 not because of El Piojo or Kily’s decision. El Piojo and Kily did wonderfully in the South American qualifying matches as the left forward where we topped the group with 43 points, 12 more than the second place Ecuador. They almost always shared the minutes.

    • But Di Maria desn’t look like competitor to anyone. Rather like old, worn out player. It would be better to sub Pavon by Dybala even if his fav position is right wing.

    • el_Principe..
      Nice to read your comments again but I slightly disagree on Diamria’s part. Sampaoli should go with Dybala instead of him. He have had plenty of chances already and he blew all of them!!

  5. According to tyc, this will be the starting set up of Croatia.

    Danijel Subasic;

    Vrsaljko, Corluka, Lovren, Vida ;

    Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric; Badelj ;

    Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic; Manduzkic

    This means they replaced LB with Corulka n Vida will play in left. 3 tall Slow guys in ” Messi’s side unsurprisingly their left side back will be immobile.
    Apart from that the Second striker Kramasic will go out to accommodate CDM, Badeji. This also not surprising when considering the inferiority of Croatian side to our Attacking power.

    Arrogant Hole of Madrid who commented Croatia is better team than Argentina yesterday, is not in the starting team again.

  6. MarioTyson1984, Please, just all listen to this wise men’s comment’s, because first of all this guy is deffinnetly right what he’s saying ! 2nd i do share his wiew, because have very much similar memories of the past, though that was in past an d now it’s now, but i think is just getting worst year arter another just simply because of our coaches, never mind if they won with or someone else ! Though Pekerman was good working sith our youngsters like has developed columbian youngsters as well (i presume?) still it never looked like it will happen for us at 2006 even we played some beautiful football there but against mexican’s we ‘re allready at trouble then after that came the german game and we all know what happenned, but still we at least went for penalties against them and with sabella we we’re so close but just bloody chokers+our poor bench selection ruined everything once again !
    So in the end we have just wsated all of our talents for decade’s allready and personally the bloody child beater Passarella was deffinetly the worst just absotlute mad man would not take redondo because he refused to cut his hair, this thing is comparable to what we are facing now with icardi’s situation ! So what if wanda opened up door for him, who the fuck does really care exept maxi lopez and his buddie’s, but why should this effect our player selection ? Well because our coach is just repeating all this crazyness with 1990(simeone, redondo and baigol left out of our team and bloody child beater passarella etc….the list goes on for until this very present day ! And now we somebody wearing and acting like he’s pep or someone else at his level ! No way this idiot is never and will never ever come even close to pep or another good thinking coache’s ! Just look at Mexico or Senegal for example and what their coaches are doing ! Personally i don’t even know the fuck they are, but i can clearly see that they have got right kind of mindset like what we should have had for decades allready, but no, no, no, we just waste allour talents because of our stupid coaches and AFA too ! It’s a fucking huge shame that country who clearly at least in the past hasdevelped so many good world class players hasn’t really won nothing for decades ! So now our man who supposed to at charge ofcteam has flew over cooco’s nest and his mind has become a total rollercoaster, which i belive was the case allready when AFA offered the job for him, offcourse it was necessary to act with bauza clearly not bringing us results, but first of all AFA should have paid at least to tata his sallaries and i dont even know if sabella got what he was offered too, i do understand that AFA has been and maybe still is very corrupted and they don’t want spend a nickle for bringing us glory because they just think Messi will do it by himself which is absolute joke of the whole argentianian football history ! But hey should have never appointed bauza and after that it was allready too late for everything, but even sampa managed mostly because of Messi and Enzo vs Ecuador bring us to Russia i never belived that he will eat his words like fucking red ass baboon who just steals and eats what ever they are able to catch ! So with me this the most depressed thing of our coach at charge+ that his mind is not stable enough to figure out which formation or player selection he should use when ever his playing never mind who is our opponent ! Maybe with chile he was still not that known worlwide yet until he delivered for them and then came to europe and that must clearly been main issue eith his personal downhill specially after he departed sevilla for us ! I mean first thing what he did was that he revealed everyting to everybody by stating that this is Messi’s team and now finally his dream have come through to get coaching the best player on earth ! And now he’s still keep on revealing his lineups way too much early and changing his tactics all the time+ players and doing nothing else than harm to the whole team by confusing everyone+ himself too ! i understand that when things dont work u have act but s
    he should have acted more in those few frienliess we had before going to russia, ok there weren’t that many of them but still he had at leadt few weeks to prepare everyting to correct things with our team, but if we don’t win croatia then no one should defend him anymore or anybody else too ! In everyvsåort there has to certain kindvof criticism specially if nothing never changes, and we are talking about bloody decades ! offcourse it isn’t the right time or ideal time criticism now but still everyone should be entitled to their own oppinons ! because i doubt that our players read our postings constantly here at mundo forum, the media is another story, though if i would be sampa i would not pay much attention to the media or let any of our players doo specially now when we are going to face croatia !

    : And i can tell you why we are the best. 1982 WC we go us champions and they all think is going to be easy lost. 1986 champions. 1990 we go final with the coach doing huge mistake not taking all the young new stars (Batistuta Simeone Redondo) this team after will destroy all in 2 copa america. 1994 we all remember what happened there. 1998 pasarela went crazy asking all players to cut ther hair (Redondo out of team best player in 3 champions league years) 2002 we go us big favourites no one play good. 2006 the best Argentina team. We lose to germany in germany with Pekerman doing completely crazy moves in that game i broke my tv.2010 maradona left zanetti cambiasso home and played AGAINST germany like germany is nothing. 2014 final we where better higuan loose the unbelievable. If you all understand the problem most of the time is trainers or the selection of the team.

    : This site is so pessimistic. We are Argentina. Yes wrong selection for WC team yes wrong selection for first SQUAD but we are Argentina one of the biggest national teams for me the biggest for 30 years i watch football and the players we had and have are superstars. If the coach make the right chooses we will win all games thats it

    • Don’t worry, I will. I just cancelled an order for some extra coke from Diego too, he was pestering me yesterday about his fresh produce that supposedly makes my tactics better

  7. 3-4-3
    Salvio-Mascherano-Lo Celso-Tagliafico

    MAD should be the front three for Argentina! Messi Aguero and Dybala together will set fireworks, not like with Higuain or Icardi where that formation failed. With Aguero, the final piece will be set.

    If not 3-4-3 then 4-2-3-1 with
    Mascherano-Lo Celso

    The front four would be deadly, with Messi-Dybala-Meza pulling the strings, and Lo Celos coming up to support.

    In other words, Messi and Dybala must play! They are play makers, and if they both drop back, who care, as long as the wing backs or Fullbacks maintain the width, the midfield would be restored! Sampaoli PLEASE PLAY DYBALA!!!!

  8. Guys please, can you stop overrating Croatia? it’s not a giant team, we really can win easily if play as a team regardless of who’s selected to play. They just need to defend well and cooperate as a cohesive unit, Croatia is not that strong and some of their players are old.

  9. one interesting thing, with colombia loosing today south america has struggles so far in the opening matches and they havent really faced europes best. uruguay won but were far from convincing. looking forward to south americans next matches hopefully we see better.

  10. Croatia probably will use 4_2_1_3 kind of set up with Kovacic replacing second striker Kramaric from Nigeria match…

    Modric will play up front. Kovacic’s duty might be to watch Leo. Moron did it with perfection in 2017 Dec wen messi was all in Blaugrana. But that time there were a Rakitic to utilize it. And Barca won 3_0. Now he is with Kovacic.

    Croatia can never play like Iceland. There is a limit. Hope our players will step up if Kovacic is shutting down messi.

  11. • I would like banega to start the next match, because he showed real urgent with the ball, desire, strength and he was always looking forward and for me that’s the type of banega we need and he is the only natural deep lying creative midfield player Argentina have at the moment. He can defend and he’s top class when on he’s game and I have no doubt he’s on he’s game as aguero with he’s brilliant goal.

    • as for the 343 formation, if sampaoli insist on this formation with acuna as the left wing back which he (acuna) is very good at than we cannot have tagliafico also in the starting line as a left central back because he tagliafico does no have the quality to play in such a position. Baring mind that our defenders will go up against a top class and deadly striker “manzukic ” who is strong on the ball and very good in the air so I would prefer mercado, otamendi and fazio to be that back tree.

    • as for the goal keeper, sampaoli must give armani the call up for the match against Croatia, so that we can Asses who’s the beter goal keeper in this team because cabalero is very slow and he could have done better with that save of he’s against Iceland that turned into a goal.

    • di Maria is not on he’s game and I hope he gets to he’s form because Argentina will need him like in 2014 final, but yes pavon needs to replace him now because pavon has more to give than di Maria.

    • sampaoli also needs to get dybala in this team because dybala is the best creative player in the final stage of the field after messi of cause. And for those of you who says dybala can’t defend, go and read a book because you don’t know what you talking about.

    • Di Maria is long gone, worse than Higuian and that by itself is saying a lot. Last time he mattered was 4 years ago in the WC. How a player can under perform or NOT perform at all and still be called almost automatically is beyond me. His dribbling is useless, his passes are weak and his crosses are to no man’s land.

    • Banega top class?? Are u kidding??just can smile reading your stupid comment!! Open your eyes dude,,he even can not dribble well, can not pass well, he is so slow, can not defend or make takling well,,but yeah he is 10x times better than biglia.. hhh,,

      • Banega is top class. Listen to any world cup sporting panel and Banega is always mention as the only top quality Argentina midfield player. If you don’t believe me, just watch his previous UCL games against Liverpool, Man United and Bayern Munich..Banega is class, he is the only Argentina midfielder right now who look like class on the pitch when playing..There was a panel on Bien Sport and when they heard Banega picked up an injured they’ll said he was the only good midfielder Argentina have. Most of you guys here don’t understand football or what makes a good player, it’s pointless having this conversation. Only on this blog you read where Banega is not a good player..Get out some more because your opinion have no solid ground to begin with.

        • He’s world class when in good form. Not just World class, one of the best in the World there. United match again proven it.
          The problem is his consistency

    • Di Maria has no name in world football today, so stop overrating below average scrappy players.
      Banega world class? Ok, let him bring a glory to the national team, and I hope so.

  12. “wait I’m Polish don’t shoot, I’m Polish” won’t get it if you never seen the movie, Senegal up 2-zero, another upset in the making.

  13. News from Russia Dybala and higuiain was training today, do you think Sampa might pulling a surprise which I think will shake any defense line; while they are preparing for Messi you bring dybala too in the equations.

  14. News coming in that neymar couldn’t practice again today due to discomfort in his right foot ( the operated site ). He merely lasted for 5 mins and had to force his way out of the field. Serbia is going to give brazil a run for their money if he doesn’t play against them after the costa rica. They look really strong in that group.

  15. Conspiracy theorists untie! like we don’t have enough to worry about from player selection, to formation, morale, subs……..etc I love the VAR system, benefits the better and bigger teams. Neuer Hit on Higuian would have resulted in a PK had this been around 4 years ago! but never late than never

  16. The reason why we lost 2 points vs Iceland is because they packed the bus and players like Di Maria and Meza who need space became static. Apart from Biglia, I think that was the biggest mistake from Sampaoli. He should have used Lo Celso who is good in tight space and Pavon who has a powerful long shot.

    Now against Croatia it’ll be a total different style but the same outcome. This teams know how to slow down their opponents by possession. The best way to counter that is to press high. I saw in the previous post that Sampaoli may plan a 343. It is a good idea to do so. But I’d rather go for a 352 with the trio Lo Celso-Maschereno-Enzo in the middle, with Salvio-Acuna as fullback wingers. Salvio for sure shouldn’t be used as fullback again because of his lack of replacement sense but he is good as a right midfielder with his high work rate. He is here to keep the balance. Acuna provides mobility on the left and he can help Tagliafico to defend, can cross and dribble, the perfect match to Messi.

    I prefer to have one more CM instead of a winger because we need to win the back and Enzo-Lo Celso is good for that. Besides Lo Celso is a creative player and can deliver assist. If we cannot score then we may replace Enzo by Pavon in the last 30 minutes.

    In any case, it is necessary to have in the same time Enzo, Lo Celso, Acuna and Salvio on the field who can provide solutions. The point is not to put the best talents together but is to build the best team. Otherwise I would have suggested Dybala, Di Maria and Banega.

  17. Lets not worry on the referee but more scare on the game plan and players selection. The team needed to be united and play as a team. Messi have to be release from the burden. With Meza, Pavon, Acuna and fit Aquero we can beat Croatia as long as Sampaoli is more focus and ready to change the scheme if it does not work. Lo Celso and Banega will be great for subs Masche and Meza on second half. Work and have plan to play Dybala alongside Messi.

    With Four Fabs Messi, Kun,Dybala and Pavon the team will be the champion. Vamos Arg.

    Another tragedy from Jose Pekerman, not playing Jamie from the beginning and the Columbian get frustrated so easily…

  18. Referee robbed us of a clear penalty on Pavon against the Vikings, but we shouldn’t jinx this match just because of a ref. The boys should finish the chances and get the goals by being more efficient in shot conversion and creation. Thanks to Pavon starting, there’s a bit more hope. Hope those deadwoods Biglia and Di Maria never get to wear an Argentina jersey again this WC, unless theres an Emergency sub

  19. I hope Argentina beat Croatia 4-0. I read Croatian web sites and they are very arrogant about Argentina. Maradona’s Argentina underestimated Germany 8 years ago and we know how it had ended. Now it’s Argentina turn to thrash Croatia.

  20. These referees from small nations are prone to bribes. I have no doubt that there are forces who are against argentina mostly due to messi. They don’t wanna see him lift the cup & become the greatest ever. They will do anything to prevent that happening.

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