UEFA announced the appointment of Russian referee Sergei Karasev to oversee this Wednesday's encounter at Camp Nou which will decide one of the last eight teams in the European Cup. The 37-year-old is a FIFA referee since 2010 and has officiated 56 international matches in his career.
Karasev has mostly been designated to smaller matches, mostly involving youth national teams and Europa League games. In the last few years, however, the Russian has climbed the ladder and started to get more opportunities in the top flight of Europe, including a few EURO qualifiers and Champions League games.
Barcelona has played a European Cup game under Karasev's watch, a 6-1 rout of Celtic at Camp Nou in December of 2013. His most recent Champions League match was the group stage encounter between Lyon and Gent at the end of last year.
Karasev is starting to build a reputation as a good referee, who is not a fan of distributing plenty of cards and knows how to manage matches. Wednesday's match at one of the best stadiums in Europe will certainly be his biggest challenge as well as his best opportunity to show his qualities in a huge stage.
Here is hoping for a discrete, good performance from the man with the whistle and the book.