Pierluigi collina With hair, Fifa, 2022, Net worth, Young & More

Italian football referee and financial advisor

Pierluigi Collina

Collina as head of referees for the Ukrainian Association of Football in 2010
Full name Pierluigi Collina
Born (1960-02-13) 13 February 1960 (age 62)
Bologna, Italy
Other occupation Financial advisor, UEFA Head of Referees
Years League Role
1988–1991 Serie C2 Referee
1988–1991 Serie C1 Referee
1991–2005 Serie B Referee
1991–2005 Serie A Referee
1992-2006 Coppa Italia Referee
Years League Role
1995–2005 FIFA listed Referee

Pierluigi Collina (Italian pronunciation: ; born 13 February 1960) is an Italian former football referee He was named FIFA’s “Best Referee of the Year” six consecutive times and is widely considered to be the best football referee of all time and widely considered as “Godfather of all referees”

Collina is still involved in football as an unpaid consultant to the Italian Football Referees Association (AIA), the Head of Referees for the Football Federation of Ukraine since 2010, a member of the UEFA Referees Committee, and Chairman of the FIFA referees committee

Refereeing career

Collina was born in Bologna and attended the University of Bologna, graduating with a degree in economics in 1984 During his teenage years, he played as a centre-back for a local team, but was persuaded in 1977 to take a referee’s course, where it was discovered that he had a particular aptitude for the job Within three years he was officiating at the highest level of regional matches, while also completing his compulsory military service In 1988, he progressed more rapidly than normal to the national third division, Serie C1 and Serie C2 After three seasons, he was promoted to officiating Serie B and Serie A matches

Around this time, Collina developed a severe form of alopecia, resulting in the permanent loss of all his facial hair, giving him his distinctive bald appearance and earning the nickname Kojak

In 1995, after he had officiated at 43 Serie A matches, he was placed on FIFA’s Referees List He was allocated five matches at the 1996 Olympic Games, including the final between Nigeria and Argentina He refereed the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United; he cited this as his most memorable game because of the cheers at the end, which he described as a “lions’ roar”

Collina’s referee kit worn in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany

In June 2002, Collina reached the pinnacle of his career, when he was chosen for the World Cup final, between Brazil and Germany Prior to the game, Germany’s Oliver Kahn told the Irish Times: “Collina is a world-class referee, there’s no doubt about that, but he doesn’t bring luck, does he” Kahn was referring to two previous high-profile matches that Collina had refereed which involved Kahn: the aforementioned 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, a 2–1 defeat for Bayern; and Germany’s 5–1 defeat against England in September 2001 Kahn’s luck did not change in the final, and his team lost 2–0

He refereed the 2004 UEFA Cup Final between Valencia and Marseille UEFA Euro 2004 was his last major international tournament, as in February 2005, as he reached the mandatory retirement age His last international match was Portugal – Slovakia, for a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon

The FIGC raised its mandatory retirement age to 46 in order to accommodate Collina for a further season However, a dispute emerged between the federation and Collina early in August 2005, following his decision to sign a sponsorship deal with Opel (also advertising for Vauxhall Motors in the United Kingdom – both are owned by General Motors) As Opel was also a sponsor of Serie A club AC Milan, the deal was seen as a conflict of interest, and Collina was not allowed to referee top flight matches in Italy

In response, Collina handed in his resignation, effectively ending his career The Italian Referees Association then attempted to reject his resignation, but he persisted with his retirement He did, however, referee the Soccer Aid matches for charity in May 2006 and September 2008 During the latter of these games, Collina was involved in an awkward fall and was stretchered off after 21 minutes of play He also refereed the first half of the 2010 Soccer Aid match on 6 June

Collina’s final competitive game was a Champions League qualifier between Everton and Villarreal on 24 August 2005 He announced his retirement soon after the game

Collina attracted the ire of Luciano Moggi, the Juventus executive and chief instigator of the 2006 Italian football scandal Collina was one of the referees that Moggi attempted to have punished for decisions that were made against Juventus In an intercepted phone call, Moggi claimed that Collina and his colleague Roberto Rosetti were too “objective” and should be “punished” for it As a result, he and Rosetti were two of the few referees that emerged unscathed from the scandal

In September 2005, his easily recognisable face (to followers of football) also led to his appearance in an advert for the Vauxhall Vectra, which aired during the 2006 World Cup in the United Kingdom He also appeared in adverts, for MasterCard and Adidas during the 2006 World Cup

Although Collina is closely identified with football, his favourite sports club plays basketball He is a lifelong supporter of Fortitudo Bologna, one of Europe’s leading basketball clubs On 25 January 2010, Collina participated in a special match for supporting victims of the earthquake in Haiti opposing “Friends of Zidane and Ronaldo” and the Benfica team in Lisbon

Collina has been head of referees for the Football Federation of Ukraine since 2010 His work in this position is criticised by national referees who disapprove of his lack of involvement in Ukrainian football (spending not more than two weeks per year in Ukraine) and possible tolerance towards corruption in the Ukrainian national football association

Collina was involved in the introduction and evaluation of the video assistant referee system for the 2018 World Cup During the tournament he pointed out the system’s effectiveness and later commented positively on its application

Personal life

Collina during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Final between Japan and Qatar

In 1988, Collina met his future wife Gianna in Versilia After living together almost from their meeting, they moved to the coastal town of Viareggio Since their marriage, the couple have had two daughters In 2003, Collina published his autobiography, My Rules of the Game (Le Mie Regole del Gioco) In August 2005, after his retirement, he concentrated on his own business, as a financial advisor Today he lives in Forte dei Marmi

After refereeing the Second Round match between Japan and Turkey at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Collina became famous in Japan, and appeared in a television advert for frozen takoyaki products He is also very popular in Turkey, as no Turkish team, national or club, lost a game with him in charge

Other media

In July 2002, he appeared in cartoon form in George Michael’s video “Shoot the Dog”

Collina was chosen as the cover figure for the football video games Pro Evolution Soccer 3 and Pro Evolution Soccer 4, appearing alongside compatriot Francesco Totti and Thierry Henry for the latter This was unusual, as football games had come to almost exclusively feature only players and managers on their covers, and he did not feature in either game In addition, he featured as an “unlockable” referee in the rival EA Sports game FIFA Football 2005, released shortly before Pro Evolution Soccer 4

In September 2005, Collina appeared in a television advert for the Vauxhall Vectra In 2006, Collina appeared in another television advert, this time for MB Pivo, a beer brand in Serbia He also appeared in an advert of a Turkish GSM operator, Aria, due to his popularity in Turkey


  • IFFHS World’s Best Referee: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • IFFHS All Time World’s Best Referee 1987–2020
  • Honorary degree: Doctor of Science (2004), awarded by Hull University “for his contribution to the world of sport”
  • Serie A Referee of the Year: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2011

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