While we await official announcement of the 2022 FIFA World Cup match Referee, SportsRation correspondent Nsikakabasi Akpan takes you through the life and times of Refereeing G.O.A.T Pierluigi Collina.
BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE
Collina was born on 13th February 1960 in Bologna Italy. He is 62 years old.
If the idea of becoming a football Referee never crossed his mind, he may have become a successful Footballer as his teenage years were spent on the field as a Center back.
Collina took up the Refereeing course in 1977 in his native Italy.
Three years after enrollment, he was officiating at the top level of regional matches.
By 1988, he rose quickly to officiate in the national third division, Serie C1, Serie C2 where spent three seasons before being promoted to officiating Serie B and Serie A matches.
In 1995, Collina had his breakthrough at international level. After officiating 43 matches in the Italian Serie A, he was shortlisted as an international Referee by FIFA.
A year after, the Italian Referee took charge of the 1996 Olympics Men’s football event final game between Nigeria and Argentina.
In 1999, the Italian officiated with distinction the UEFA Champions League final game between Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
By 2002, Pierluigi Collina will get the opportunity to excel at the grandest of football matches ” The World Cup final.”
The Italian was appointed as Referee for the final match between Brazil and Germany.
After the UEFA Champions League qualifying round game between Everton and Villarreal, Collina announced his retirement from Refereeing.
– International Federation of Football History and Statistics – IFFHS Referee for 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
– International Federation of Football History and Statistics – IFFHS All time best Referee.
– Italian Serie A Referee of the Year for 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
– Italian Football Hall of Fame _ 2011 .
WHAT ROLE IS COLLINA PLAYING IN QATAR
Pierluigi Collina is the Head of FIFA Referees Committee seen as one of the most powerful bodies because it overseas selection and appointment of match officials .
Ahead of the final game, Collina and his Committee will evaluate the performances of all eligible match officials to ensure the best is selected for the big game.
Like Pierluigi Collina had already assured before the 2022 World Cup kicked-off, the quality of each official will be key in the selection process.
“I have to say our main criteria is quality,” he says. “Sure, there’s a neutrality to be respected. But the first priority is always quality.” Collina had said of the FIFA Referees Committee priority during any selection process.
Just like he excelled in active Refereeing, Collina is doing excellently well as Head of Refereeing and this adds more grease to his rating as Football Referees Greatest Of All Times.