Markus Merk - Updated Apr 2024

Updated On March 19, 2024
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Kaiserslautern, Germany
Birth Sign


Markus Merk


Markus Merk is a retired German football referee. Moreover, Markus Merk is a six-time German Referee of the Year Award winner and Bundesliga game officiating record holder.

Early Life

Markus Merk was born on March 15, 1962, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. According to his birth date, he is 62 years old and holds German nationality.

Moreover, this former referee has a birth sign of Taurus and his ethnic background is unknown. Besides this, there is no other information regarding Merk’s parents, siblings, and childhood life. This retired referee has not shared information regarding his academic qualification in public at the moment.

Markus Merk – Net Worth 2024

As a former football referee, he has earned a huge sum of money in his career. Moreover, his net worth is estimated at around $1 million to $5 million at the moment.


In 2005, he was named Bundesverdienstkreuz (major order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany). Likewise, he was DFB German Referee of the Year in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2006.

Professional Life

Markus Merk, who represented his hometown team 1. FC Kaiserslautern became the youngest-ever Bundesliga referee in 1988 at the age of 25. Four years later, he was certified as a FIFA referee and worked at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

He established himself as an aggressive, reliable referee over the following years.


Portugal was outraged by Merk’s decision to referee the final match of UEFA Euro 2004. Portugal’s opponent was Greece, whose coach, Otto Rehhagel, was a Merk dental patient. Nonetheless, Merk became internationally famous for his outstanding refereeing in this game.

On April 21, 2004, during a Champions League semi-finals match against former team Porto, Deportivo’s defender Jorge Andrade was sent off by Merk for a kick on Deco. The gesture was friendly, but the referee was taken aback and swiftly gave the defender marching orders.

He was obliged to serve a one-game suspension. Jose Mourinho’s club would eventually make it to the final. In the 2004-05 Champions League quarter-finals, he whistled the second leg game between AC Milan and Inter Milan and controversially denied Inter player Esteban Cambiasso’s goal, prompting Inter fans to throw bottles and flares onto the pitch and finally forcing the game to be abandoned.

Another controversial incident occurred in the 71st minute of a match between Artmedia and Porto on December 6, 2005, when Merk failed to notice Pepe’s handball in the penalty area.  If given and scored, the penalty would have sent Artmedia to the round of 16.


Merk was a referee at the 1992 Olympics (two calls), and the fourth official in the 1993 World Cup qualifier between the Netherlands and England (during which Merk repeatedly restrained the furious England manager Graham Taylor after a penalty and red card decision went against England).

Taylor believed Ronald Koeman should have been sent off, and England now has a penalty for a professional foul on David Platt. Both of these things occurred, and Koeman went on to score against England.

Taylor was outraged at the referee, though years later, in an interview with the Observer, he expressed gratitude to Merk for not sending him to the stands when he could have), the UEFA Euro 2000 (3), the 2002 FIFA World Cup (2), and the UEFA Euro 2004 (3).

Markus Merk

Caption: Markus Merk argument with a player during a football match (Source: Welt)

In that tournament, he also whistled the final, becoming the first German referee to do so since East German Rudi Glöckner in 1970. Merk also refereed in the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final and the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final.


He officiated at the semi-finals of the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup between Cameroon and Colombia, a game known for the death of Marc-Vivien Foé. He whistled three matches during the 2006 World Cup.

Merk’s last game in the 2006 World Cup was the match between the United States and Ghana, as he was not picked to referee any of the games in the knockout stages. He has also long advocated for instant video replay on important occasions.

Werder Bremen striker Markus Rosenberg scored a goal from clearly offside on March 1, 2008; Merk first gave the goal but instantly recognized it was unlawful, but it was too late to withdraw his blunder. He called it “the most painful moment of my career” and advocated for the introduction of instant replay.

Relationship Status

This former football referee is a married man and he lives in Otterbach with his wife and son. In the past, he used to work as a professional dentist until 2005, when he stopped practicing because of his opposition to the Praxisgebühr, a quarterly fee for patients consulting doctors.

Markus Merk

Caption: Markus Merk with his wife (Source:

Markus Merk suffered ridicule throughout his adolescent years due to his high-pitched, squeaky voice. He now speaks in a typical baritone after receiving extensive speech therapy.

Body Measurements

Thus former football referee stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs around 78 kg. Moreover, he has hazel eyes with black hair color and he has not shared information regarding his other body measurements.

Markus Merk – Social Media

Markus Merk is not active on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


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