Usually, referees tend to avoid the spotlight in any match. However, that is not the case with one of Mexico's most popular and controversial referees, who has decided to put an end to his career as a field official.
Marco Antonio Rodriguez, better known throughout Mexican football stadiums as 'Chiquimarcos', has decided to put an end to his 17-year career as a referee, making his announcement in a press conference besides Rafael Mancilla, President of the Referees Committee in Liga MX.
Known for his strict decisions and fast-hand to draw both yellow and red cards from his pocket, Chiquimarcos has long been considered the best Mexican referee for quite a while now thanks to his personality and hierarchy. Curiously, he holds the record for the fastest-sending off in Copa Libertadores history; clocking in at 20 seconds.
A former sports professor, Rodriguez's first received his International pass in 1999; year in which he made his debut in a friendly match between Guatemala and Paraguay that the latter won with a 3-2 score.
His solid performances in Mexican football awarded him the opportunity to be a part of three World Cups throughout his career; having refereed matches in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament.
Having refereed only two Group Stage matches in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, the 2014 edition saw Rodriguez give his best-performance by playing his part in three matches.
Dealt with no fuss or problems in Belgium's 2-1 win against Algeria, Rodriguez was the man in charge of the much remembered Uruguay one-nil win against Italy; match in which he failed to see the infamous Luis Suarez bite on Giorgio Chiellini. Finally, after a series of overall poor performances from the referees in Brazil 2014, Rodriguez was selected to take charge of the Semifinal slaughter that was Germany's 7-1 win against Brazil.
" I dreamed with three World Cups and I feel satisfied. " said Rodriguez in his press-announcement. " I just want to thank the players, I had the opportunity to officiate many finals."
As for his future, Rodriguez has been undergoing courses to become a manager; having recently received his title just a few months ago. He has declared in the past that he would like to give it a shot in the future.