After officiating the 7-1 German onslaught of the host nation at the 2014 World Cup, referee Marco Rodriguez has finally called it quits.
The Mexican federation officially announced the retirement of the man known as “Chiquidracula” due to his resemblance to an actor that played Count Dracula, but asked instead to be called “Chiquimarco.”
“I dreamed of [working] three World Cups, and I’m satisfied,” Rodriguez, 40, said in a press conference from Mexico. “I am satisfied by the achievements in my 25-year career. Brazil was the place where I showed all that I acquired over my career.”
Including the 7-1 drubbing of Brazil, Rodriguez officiated a total of seven World Cup matches over three different tournaments, with the Brazil vs. Germany semifinal match his first outside of the group stage.
Rodriguez has been a referee in the Mexican Liga MX since 1997 and a FIFA referee since 2000. He quickly picked up a reputation as a strict referee not afraid to pull cards out of his pocket.
Australia’s Tim Cahill learned this the hard way, earning a controversial straight red card in the 2010 World Cup in an eventual 4-0 loss. Rodriguez also handed Chile’s Marco Estrada a second yellow in the same tournament, falling for a clear dive by Fernando Torres.
Other incidents Rodriguez was known for included the famous “double yellow” in the 2012 Mexican Apertura finals between Tigres and Santos, where he produced two yellow cards at once, holding each hand. Overall, he sent off three players from that match and issued seven yellows, and was suspended for five matches following the incident.
Despite this incident, Liga MX refereeing official Marco Trejo at the time still called him “one of our top referees.”
The 40-year-old also refereed the group stage match between Uruguay and Italy in this year’s World Cup that saw Luis Suarez eventually banned for biting Giorgio Chiellini. Rodriguez missed the incident and did not punish Suarez during play. In that match he also correctly sent off Italy’s Claudio Marchisio with a straight red for a dangerous tackle.
Rodriguez was most recently at the center of controversy in the United States (not entirely of his own doing) when he was assigned to referee a World Cup qualifier last September between Costa Rica and the United States. The match was just four days before the US took on Mexico in Columbus, and Jurgen Klinsmann spoke publicly about having to deal with a strict referee so close to an important match with eight of his players facing a yellow card suspension.
Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, and Jozy Altidore were all shown yellows during the eventual 3-1 loss to Costa Rica and were forced to miss the next match, but the US beat Mexico 2-0 anyways to secure a berth in the 2014 World Cup.
Outside of refereeing, Rodriguez is a Protestant priest.