It has not been long since that a person with black dress was seen running in the football field with his trade mark bald head. If you have not figured out this person yet and if you are a regular spectator of world football then for sure your memory is cheating with you. Yes, I am talking about Pierluigi Collina who is considered universally as the greatest referee or field official in the history of football. This benevolent figure was born in Italy. Though he started his career as a football player in a local team but he could understand his talent in referring. First he officiated in the Serie C1 and C2 matches and very soon he became regular in Serie A, the highest football league in the country. Having officiated in 43 Serie A matches he was included in the list of Fifa referees.
Collina’s first major tournament was 1996 Olympic Games including the final match between Nigeria and Argentina. His involvement in the international tournaments accelerated in the following tournaments including UEFA Champion’s League final in 1999 and most significant World Cup 2002 final between Brazil and Germany. He last appeared in the major tournament in EURO 2004. He had to go for retirement after reaching at 45 which is considered as the retirement official age for Fifa referees. However, the age limitation was raised by one to 46 for the domestic league of Italy by the Italian Football Federation as to show respect to this experienced referee so that he can continue another new season. Pierluigi Collina is regarded as the first celebrity referees in the football world. “Kojak” nicknamed this legendary referee was also included in some of the popular video games including “Pro Evolution Soccer 3” and “Fifa 2005”.