Deniz Aytekin chose a literature café for the interview in Nuremberg. Actually not the place where you first suspect football fans. But Germany’s most famous referee is recognized here. When he enters, at 1.97 meters tall and dressed all in black except for white sneakers, he draws a lot of attention. The waitress teases if she gets a yellow card if she brings the bill. And a kitchen worker wants a selfie with the star referee. Something like that happens to him all the time, says Aytekin. The 44-year-old is “DFB Referee of the Year”.
In 2011 he was voted the worst referee in the Bundesliga, and Deniz Aytekin is now “DFB Referee of the Year”. A conversation about bribery attempts, the rough tone on the pitch and why he invested in an astrology platform.
Philipp Schneider and Kathrin Werner