Pierluigi Collina

Pierluigi Collina (Italian pronunciation: [ˌpjɛrluˈiːdʒi kolˈliːna]; 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 greatest football referee of all time.[1] Collina is still involved in football, as an unpaid consultant to the Italian Football Referees Association (AIA), as the Head of Referees for the Football Federation of Ukraine since 2010,[2] and as a member of the UEFA Referees Committee.

Pierluigi Collina
Pierluigi Collina as a head of referees for the Football Federation of Ukraine in 2010
Full name Pierluigi Collina
Born 13 February 1960 (age 59)
Bologna, Italy
Other occupation Financial advisor, UEFA Head of Referees
Years League Role
1988–1991 Serie C2/Serie C1 Referee
1991–2005 Serie B/Serie A Referee
Years League Role
1995–2005 FIFA listed Referee
Pierluigi Collina In Tehran derby
Collina during Tehran derby, 30 March 2019

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 central defender 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.

About this time, Collina contracted 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".[3]

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.[4] 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. In February 2005, as he reached the mandatory retirement age, UEFA Euro 2004 was his last major international tournament. His last international match was PortugalSlovakia, 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 A.C. 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.[5] 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.

In 2010, Collina officiated the first half of a Soccer Aid charity football match between celebrity and professional players representing England and the "Rest of the World". Players included David Seaman, Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham, Jamie Redknapp, Martin Keown and Nicky Butt for England, managed and coached by Harry Redknapp and Bryan Robson. Players for the "Rest of the World" included Jens Lehmann, Henrik Larsson, Zinedine Zidane, Ryan Giggs, Luís Figo and Sami Hyypiä, managed and coached by Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush & Eric Harrison. English Premier League and Football League referee Mark Clattenburg also refereed the match.

Collina has been head of referees for the Football Federation of Ukraine since 2010.[2] 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.[6]

Personal life

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 the wedding, 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.[7]

Since he was the main referee of the Second Round match between Japan and Turkey at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he 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.[8]

In July 2002, he appeared in cartoon form in George Michael's video "Shoot the Dog", where he was shown giving the red card to Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[9] "Shoot the Dog" was animated by 2DTV, a satirical animated television show.

Collina was chosen as the cover figure for the Konami 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.



  • My Rules of the Game: Pierluigi Collina (translated from the Italian by Iain Halliday), Macmillan, 2003. ISBN 0-330-41872-6 Original title: Le Mie Regole del Gioco.
  1. ^ IFFHS: "All-Time World Referee Ranking". Iffhs.de. Retrieved on 2015-07-16.
  2. ^ a b Ukraine trying to revive Crimean champion football club, USA Today (19 June 2015)
  3. ^ Referee profile Archived 2012-09-11 at the Wayback Machine mentioning the "lion's roar", 1999: the Euro 2004 section of the 7M.CN website.
  4. ^ World Cup 2002 News: Ireland.com (The Irish Times) (July 1, 2002). Retrieved on May 29, 2007.
  5. ^ Roberto Rosetti. Worldreferee.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  6. ^ http://www.matchday.ua/blog/uvaga-uvaga/kollina-prikrivaye-korupciyu-svoyim-imenem-spovid-arbitra-249/
  7. ^ "Pierluigi Collina wants referee crowding 'killed' from football". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  8. ^ Referee Collina, the referee of the last match for Japan at the World Cup, appears on Japanese Commercial!! (ワールドカップ日本最終戦の主審 あのコリーナ審判が日本のCMに登場!!) Archived 2009-09-01 at the Wayback Machine ADWIN Communication & Marketing website (Japanese) retrieved 2009-12-19
  9. ^ "Final whistle blows for Collina". 11 May 2004. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Former Results". IFFHS.de. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  11. ^ "IFFHS – Various Annual Awards".
  12. ^ The referee's a...doctor?. BBC News. 14 July 2004
  13. ^ "Hall of fame, 10 new entry: con Vialli e Mancini anche Facchetti e Ronaldo" [Hall of fame, 10 new entries: with Vialli and Mancini also Facchetti and Ronaldo] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
Sporting positions
Pierluigi Collina
Preceded by
1998 FIFA World Cup Final
Said Belqola
2002 FIFA World Cup Final Referee Succeeded by
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
Horacio Elizondo
Preceded by
1998 UEFA Champions League Final
Hellmut Krug
1999 UEFA Champions League Final Referee Succeeded by
2000 UEFA Champions League Final
Stefano Braschi
Preceded by
2003 UEFA Cup Final
Ľuboš Micheľ
2004 UEFA Cup Final Referee Succeeded by
2005 UEFA Cup Final
Graham Poll
1995 Coppa Italia Final

The 1995 Coppa Italia Final decided the winner of the 1994–95 Coppa Italia. It was held on 7 and 11 June 1995 between Juventus and Parma. The first leg at the Stadio delle Alpi in Turin was the smallest difference won by Juventus after a goal by Sergio Porrini. The second leg was played at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma won again by Juventus from another Porrini goal followed by his teammate Fabrizio Ravanelli for a 3–0 aggregate win.

A month earlier, both teams had faced off in the 1995 UEFA Cup Final, in which Parma won 2–1 on aggregate.

1996–97 Parma A.C. season

The 1996–97 season was Parma Associazione Calcio's seventh consecutive season in Serie A. The team competed in Serie A, the Coppa Italia, and the UEFA Cup, where it suffered a shock first round exit to Portuguese club Vitória de Guimarães.

2002 Coppa Italia Final

The 2002 Coppa Italia Final was the final of the 2001–02 Coppa Italia, the 55th season of the top cup competition in Italian football. The match was played over two legs on 24 April and 10 May 2002 between Juventus and Parma. This was the third Coppa Italia final between these two clubs, after the 1992 and 1995 finals, and the fifth of six major finals between the two sides. The final was won by Parma, who claimed their third Coppa Italia title with an away goals victory after the aggregate score was level at 2–2.

2003 Supercoppa Italiana

The 2003 Supercoppa Italiana was a match contested by Juventus, the 2002–03 Serie A winner, and Milan, the 2002–03 Coppa Italia winner.

It was the sixth appearance for Juventus (3 victories in 1995, 1997 and 2002) and the seventh for Milan (victories in 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994).

The match was played in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the United States, the home pitch of the Major League Soccer club New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls), with a heavily Italian heritage in the region. Juventus beat Milan on penalties, three months after losing to the same opposition in a shootout in the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final.

2004 Coppa Italia Final

The 2004 Coppa Italia Final was the final of the 2003–04 Coppa Italia, the 57th season of the top cup competition in Italian football. The match was played over two legs between Lazio and Juventus. This was the 13th Coppa Italia final appearance by Juventus and the 5th by Lazio. It was the first meeting of these two clubs in the finals. The first leg was played in Rome on 17 March 2004, in which Lazio won 2–0. The second leg was played on 12 May 2004 in Turin and the two clubs drew 2–2, giving Lazio their 4th title on an aggregate result of 4–2.

2004 Supercoppa Italiana

The 2004 Supercoppa Italiana was a match contested by the 2003–04 winners Milan and the 2003–04 Coppa Italia winners Lazio.

The match result was a 3–0 victory for Milan after a hat-trick by Andriy Shevchenko.

2004–05 Juventus F.C. season

The 2004–05 season was Juventus Football Club's 107th in existence and 103rd consecutive season in the top flight of Italian football. Juventus won the league title for the 28th time in this season, however, in the following year's Calciopoli stripped Juventus of this title and sent them to Serie B.

2005 Coppa Italia Final

The 2005 Coppa Italia Final was the final of the 2004–05 Coppa Italia, the 58th season of the top cup competition in Italian football. The match was played over two legs between Roma and Internazionale. This was the 12th Coppa Italia final played by Roma and the 8th by Inter. It was the first meeting of these two clubs in the finals. The first leg was played in Rome on 12 June 2005, in which Inter won 2–0. The second leg was played on 15 June 2006 in Milan and Inter won 1–0 to seal the trophy on an aggregate result of 3–0.

Ali Bujsaim

Ali Mohamed Bujsaim (Arabic: علي بوجسيم‎) (born September 9, 1959) is a retired football (soccer) referee from the United Arab Emirates, best known for supervising at three FIFA World Cups: 1994 (two matches), 1998 (three matches) and 2002 (two matches).

Lencie Fred

Lencie Fred (born 21 March 1968) is the current Referee Development Officer of the Vanuatu Football Federation. Fred is a former international association football referee from Vanuatu. He was the first referee from his country to be included on the FIFA list of referees. Fred started refereeing at a young age and was named as an assistant referee for the 1996 Summer Olympics. He assisted Pierluigi Collina in the final of that competition between Nigeria and Argentina, allowing a controversial late winning goal for Nigeria. Two years later, he was selected to be an assistant at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and officiated five games during the tournament, including the third place match between Netherlands and Croatia.Fred was appointed to the list of FIFA referees in 2000, but was largely inactive during the first part of the decade. He refereed the second leg of the Oceania Preliminary Competition for the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship, which saw Australia beat New Zealand 6–0. He eventually became one of the most senior referees in the Oceania Football Confederation, regularly officiating international matches on that continent. He was selected as a referee for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, the 2007 South Pacific Games, 2008 OFC Men's Olympic Football Tournament and the 2008 OFC Nations Cup. He took charge of his final competitive international match on 19 November 2008 when Fiji achieved a 2–0 victory over New Zealand in a qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Fred retired from international refereeing at the end of 2009, at the age of 41.Aside from international football, Fred also refereed domestic and continental matches. He regularly officiated matches in the group stages of the OFC Champions League, and was named as fourth official for both the 2007 and 2008 O-League finals. His last O-League match in charge was the group stage match between Ba of Fiji and Koloale FC Honiara of the Solomon Islands on 2 November 2008. In the match, he showed a red card to one player from each team.

Nicola Rizzoli

Nicola Rizzoli (Italian pronunciation: [niˈkɔla ritˈtsɔli]; born 5 October 1971) is a former Italian football referee who refereed in the Italian Serie A from 2002 to 2017 and was a FIFA-listed referee from 2007 to 2017. He refereed the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina on 13 July at the Estádio do Maracanã and the 2013 Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium. Rizzoli won seven consecutive AIC Serie A Referee of the Year Awards from 2011 to 2017. On 18 February 2017, Soccer 360 included Rizzoli on its list of the top 5 referees in the 21st century.


Pierluigi is an Italian masculine given name meaning "Peter Louis". It is often an abbreviation of "Piero Luigi". Famous people with this given name include:

Pierluigi Balducci, Italian musician

Pierluigi Benedettini, Sammarinese footballer

Pierluigi Cappello (1967-2017), Italian poet

Pierluigi Cappelluzzo, Italian footballer

Pierluigi Carafa (1677-1755), Italian cardinal

Pierluigi Casiraghi, Italian footballer

Pierluigi Cera, Italian footballer

Pierluigi Collina, Italian football referee

Pierluigi Conforti, Italian road racer

Pierluigi Frattali, Italian footballer

Pierluigi Gollini, Italian footballer

Pierluigi Martini, Italian racing driver

Pierluigi Marzorati, Italian basketball player

Pierluigi Oliverio, American politician

Pierluigi Pairetto, Italian football referee

Pierluigi Praturlon (1924-1999), Italian photographer

Pierluigi Samaritani, Italian opera designer

Pierluigi Zappacosta, Italian businessman

Pierluigi da Palestrina, Italian Renaissance composer

Pro Evolution Soccer 4

Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (known as World Soccer: Winning Eleven 8 in Japan and World Soccer: Winning Eleven 8 International in North America) is the fourth installment of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer football video game series. It's the first game of the series to appear on the original Xbox, with online game. The cover features former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, AS Roma forward Francesco Totti, and world-renowned Italian referee Pierluigi Collina. It was the first game in the series to feature licensed leagues.

Winning Eleven 8: Liveware Evolution marked the PES series to feature online play for the PlayStation 2. Within online play, statistics and league points are stored on the server for each game played. While Winning Eleven 8/Pro Evolution Soccer 4 does not features it until Winning Eleven 9/Pro Evolution Soccer 5.

Roberto Rosetti

Roberto Rosetti (born 18 September 1967 in Turin, Piedmont) is a former Italian football referee. He is fluent in Italian (native), English and French. He started refereeing in 1983, and took charge of his first match in the Italian Serie A in 1996. He received his FIFA Badge in 2002. Aside from his refereeing duties, Rosetti works as director of a hospital.

Rosetti is counted amongst the top referees of all time in a list maintained by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). He retired following the 2010 FIFA World Cup to take a position with the Italian Football Federation as the referee designator for Serie B League.

Luciano Moggi, then general director of Juventus, had described Rosetti and his colleague Pierluigi Collina as being too 'objective' in an intercepted telephone call. Moggi also claimed that Rosetti and Collina should be 'punished' for decisions made against Juventus in that same phonecall.

Said Belqola

Said Belqola (Arabic: سعيد بلقولة‎) (August 30, 1956 – June 15, 2002) was an Association football referee from Morocco, best known for officiating the 1998 FIFA World Cup final between Brazil and France, being the first African referee to officiate a World Cup final.

Belqola's international career began when he was appointed to the international list in 1993, going on to referee the match between France and England at the Tournoi de France in 1997. He was also among the referees at the final tournaments of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 and 1998, officiating two matches at each of the two tournaments. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals, he also officiated two group matches (Germany vs. USA and Argentina vs. Croatia).Belqola was born in Tiflet, Morocco and worked in Fez as a civil servant as a customs officer.

Belqola died on June 15, 2002 after a long battle against cancer. He was buried in Tiflet.

Sanremo Music Festival 1999

The Sanremo Music Festival 1999 was the 49th annual Sanremo Music Festival, held at the Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, province of Imperia, between 23 and 27 February 1999 and broadcast on Rai 1.

The show was presented by Fabio Fazio (who also served as the artistic director), supported by Laetitia Casta and Renato Dulbecco.The quality jury consisted of Ennio Morricone (who served as president), Umberto Bindi, Toquinho, Carlo Verdone, José Carreras, Maurizio De Angelis, Enrico Brizzi, Amadeus and Dario Salvatori.The winner of the Big Artists section was Anna Oxa with the song "Senza pietà", and Daniele Silvestri won the Mia Martini Critics Award with the song "Aria".Alex Britti won the "Newcomers" section with the song "Oggi sono io".In addition to musical guests, the guests of this edition also included Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Michael Moore, Leslie Nielsen, Gustav Thöni, Silvan, Darlene Conley, Roberto Mancini, Alessandro Del Piero, Carla Fracci, Pierluigi Collina and Teo Teocoli.In this edition it was introduced the "Premio Città di Sanremo", a career award won by Ornella Vanoni.After every night Rai 1 broadcast DopoFestival, a talk show about the Festival with the participation of singers and journalists. It was hosted by Orietta Berti and Teo Teocoli, with the regular participation of Fabio Fazio.

Serie A Referee of the Year

The Serie A Referee of the Year AIC (Italian: Arbitro dell'anno AIC) is a yearly award organized by the Italian Footballers' Association (AIC) given to the Referee who has been considered to have performed the best over the previous Serie A season. The award is part of the Gran Galà del Calcio (former Oscar del Calcio) awards event.

UEFA Euro 2012 Group D

Group D of UEFA Euro 2012 began on 11 June 2012 and ended on 19 June 2012. The pool was made up of Ukraine, Sweden, France and England. The top two teams, England and France, progressed to the quarter-finals to play Italy and Spain respectively, while Ukraine and Sweden were eliminated from the tournament.

On the second matchday, on 15 June, the match between Ukraine and France that began at 19:00 local time was interrupted by heavy rainfall and a thunderstorm. The conditions forced the referee to suspend the game during the fifth minute, and play was only resumed 58 minutes later. UEFA therefore delayed the match between Sweden and England to kick off 15 minutes later than originally scheduled, instead beginning at 22:00 local time, to avoid the matches overlapping.On the final matchday, on 19 June, the match between England and Ukraine featured a ghost goal by Marko Dević. In the second half, with Ukraine losing 1–0 to a Wayne Rooney goal, Dević's shot was hooked clear from behind the England goal-line by John Terry under the eyes of the additional assistant referee standing beside the goal (as confirmed by video replays). The incident reopened football's goal-line technology debate. Although in the build-up to the incident, Dević's teammate Artem Milevskiy was in an offside position when the ball was played to him, which also went unnoticed by the match officials. UEFA and its chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina admitted on the following day that an error had been made and that Ukraine had been denied a legitimate goal.

Vítor Melo Pereira

Vítor Manuel Melo Pereira (born April 21, 1957 in Lisbon) is a retired football (soccer) referee from Portugal, best known for supervising four matches at the FIFA World Cup: two in 1998 and 2002.

Since August 2017 he is the Head of Greek refereeing appointed directly by FIFA.

European Cup
UEFA Champions League


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