The World Cup 2018 final is set to take place on July 15 in Moscow, with France and Croatia getting ready to battle it out for the right to get their hands on the trophy.
Naturally, the focus in the pre-match build-up is on the players, but one man, who will be just as important as Kylian Mbappe or Luka Modric, remains relatively unknown.
The game will only be able to run smoothly - and fairly - with the help of the referee and FIFA has appointed the man who will keep a close eye on proceedings at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
So who is he? Goal brings you all you need to know about the man in the middle for the World Cup final.
Who will referee the World Cup 2018 final?
FIFA has confirmed that the final will be officiated by Argentine referee Nestor Pitana. He will be assisted by Hernan Maidana and Juan Belatti, with Bjorn Kuipers serving as fourth official.
Pitana, 43, is a referee in his native Argentina, where he has been involved with the Superliga Argentina since 2007.
He graduated as an international referee in 2010 and has presided over games in various CONMEBOL competitions, including the Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and Copa America.
As well as a referee, Pitana works as a physical education teacher.
His assistants Maidana and Belatti also hail from Argentina, while Kuipers is a native of the Netherlands.
What other games has the referee been involved in?
Pitana is a vastly experienced referee and has already been involved in four games at Russia 2018, officiating two group stage games and two knockout stage ties.
The Argentine official was the man in the middle for the tournament curtain-raiser between Russia and Saudi Arabia before taking charge of the Group F match between Mexico and Sweden.
He has already been the adjudicator for games involving both Croatia and France, serving as referee for Croatia's last 16 game against Denmark and France's quarter-final victory over Uruguay.
Interestingly, his involvement as an Argentine in the France-Uruguay game prompted some questions from the media ahead of that match, due to the rivalry between the two South American nations.
However, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez dismissed it as a "coincidence", saying: “We’ve never won a game with this referee. But I don’t want to start these games. It doesn’t really matter if he’s Argentine or not. He’s a good referee."
As well as the 2018 World Cup, Pitana was also a referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, presiding over four games (three group stage matches and the quarter-final between France and Germany).
He has also been a referee at the 2015 Copa America, the 2017 Confederations Cup, the Olympic games and a variety of competitive international qualifying matches.
Notable games in which Nestor Pitana was referee:
|Jun 17, 2014||World Cup||Russia vs South Korea||Group Stage|
|Jun 22, 2014||World Cup||USA vs Portugal||Group Stage|
|Jun 25, 2014||World Cup||Honduras vs Switzerland||Group Stage|
|Jul 4, 2014||World Cup||France vs Germany||Quarter-final|
|Jun 11, 2015||Copa America||Chile vs Ecuador||Group Stage|
|Jun 21, 2015||Copa America||Colombia vs Peru||Group Stage|
|Aug, 7, 2016||Olympics||Germany vs South Korea||Group Stage|
|Aug 17, 2016||Olympics||Nigeria vs Germany||Semi-final|
|Jun 18, 2017||Confederations Cup||Portugal vs Mexico||Group Stage|
|Jun 29, 2017||Confederations Cup||Germany vs Mexico||Semi-final|
|Jun, 14, 2018||World Cup||Russia vs Saudi Arabia||Group Stage|
|Jun, 27, 2018||World Cup||Mexico vs Sweden||Group Stage|
|Jul 1, 2018||World Cup||Croatia vs Denmark||Last 16|
|Jul 6, 2018||World Cup||Uruguay vs France||Quarter-final|
|Jul 15, 2018||World Cup||France vs Croatia||Final|
Who has refereed past World Cup finals?
The referee who is chosen to preside over the World Cup final is usually the individual who boasts the most experience and authority.
Pierluigi Collina and Howard Webb are among those to have officiated World Cup finals over the past 20 years.
Interestingly, an Argentine referee - Horatio Elizondo - was the official for the last World Cup final France reached, in 2006. However, that did not end well, as Italy won on penalties.
Last five World Cup final referees:
|2014||Germany 1-0 Argentina||Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)|
|2010||Netherlands 0-1 Spain||Howard Webb (ENG)|
|2006||Italy 1-1 France (5-3P)||Horatio Elizondo (ARG)|
|2002||Germany 0-2 Brazil||Pierluigi Collina (ITA)|
|1998||Brazil 0-3 France||Said Belqola (MOR)|
What about the third-place play-off?
Iranian referee Alireza Feghani will be the official for the World Cup 2018 third-place play-off between Belgium and England.
Feghani will be assisted by Reza Sokhandan and Moha Mansouri, with Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou acting as fourth official.