Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA), "The 3rd Team," a blog about international football refereeing, awarded referee Aliyar Agayev of Azerbaijan the “Rising Referee Star 2016.”
“For the first time, we like to honor a referee we are considering as a rising star on 'UEFA's Refereeing Heaven'. It is given to a referee who managed or initiated his breakthrough (only) in the past year 2016 and is deemed as a very talented official with a bright future inside European refereeing.”
- The 3rd Team, 12/19/2016
Agayev, 30, is the most internationally recognized referee in Azerbaijan. His significant development over the last months put him on UEFA radar as a reliable and talented sports official. Therefore, he was commended to UEFA Europa League matches and UEFA Under-19 EURO 2016 final game in Germany.
The 3rd Team elected elite English referee Mark Clattenburg number one in Europe, and put Polish talent Szymon Marciniak and Slovenia's Damir Skomina on places 2 and 3.