Danny Makkelie

Danny Makkelie

International referee

About Danny Makkelie

Danny is a top referee in Dutch and international football. He is a fresh, energetic personality who together with his team performs weekly on the field, or as a VAR ‘behind the scenes’. He often stands in the eye of the storm and knows better than anyone what it is like when so many people have an opinion about you. He is a versatile person. Not afraid, clear, strives for perfection, but is also friendly, modest, humorous and knows what he is doing. In addition to his work as a referee, Danny works 18 hours a week at the police station where he has a managerial position.

There's nothing like making a decision when you're a football referee. You believe in it, but you have to make other people believe in it, too

Why Danny Makkelie Book as a speaker ?

Danny gives amazing presentations and lectures using video and sound fragments. He talks about innovation in soccer, about smart intelligence, he shows how difficult communication can be under ultimate time pressure and how one decision can sometimes impact millions of euros of prize money. Danny tells you all the ins and outs of his work as a referee and VAR. What is a VAR allowed to do and what not? What are developments that will play a role in the future? Danny also tells you about the personal side of his work. What are you going through? How do you deal with what people think of you in the media? How do you choose your own course and stay close to yourself? Danny takes you along in his vision and the choices he makes. Soccer is also about trust and working with each other. By making the connection with leadership and communication, Danny brings depth to his presentations. How do you make decisions when everything is under a magnifying glass and so much emotion is involved? Danny's presentations can be described as: interactive, engaging, substantive, inspiring, relaxed and well prepared. He does not shy away from critical questions and knows his audience very well.


Danny Makkelie started whistling at the age of 10. At the age of 16, he continued his career as a qualified KNVB referee for the amateur senior soccer players. In December of 2005, at the age of 22, he made his debut in the First Division and led the game between Fortuna Sittard and Stormvogels Telstar. In November of 2009, at the age of 26, he made his debut in the Premier League game between Heracles Almelo and Sparta Rotterdam. At that time he was the youngest referee leading a match at the highest level in the Netherlands. In September of 2010, he was nominated by the KNVB to become FIFA referee. On January first, 2011 he was permitted and was the youngest FIFA referee of the Netherlands who was also allowed to whistle internationally. In October of 2012 he made his debut in the UEFA Europa League and in October of 2014 he debuted in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League during a Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge. This made him the youngest Dutch referee in the Champions League at that time. On the 14th of June 2017, Danny was promoted to the UEFA Elite list. This is the highest international group in which he stands together with Bjorn Kuipers. Recently, Danny was in the news because of his position as 'Video Assistant Referee' at the World Cup. Danny is one of the best and most experienced referees of Europe in this field and in 2020, he even was the referee in the Final of the EUFA Europa League between Sevilla and Inter Milan. Besides his work as a referee, Danny is active with the National Police. Here, he fulfills a management function on a part-time basis, which is a perfect combination with his job as a referee.

An impression of this speaker


  • Final Europa League Sevilla - Inter Milan 2020
  • World Championships soccer in Russia 2018
  • Quarter Finals Champions League 2018

Book Danny Makkelie now as speaker

Are you interested in booking Danny Makkelie as a speaker? SportsSpeakers has been the speakers agency of the Netherlands in sports for more than 15 years and gives tailored advice without obligation.