Pierluigi Collina

Biographical information

Full namePierluigi•Collina
Used namePierluigi•Collina
Born13 February 1960 in Bologna, Bologna (ITA)
NOC Italy


In the late 1990s, and early part of the 2000s, Pierluigi Collina was almost certainly the best referee in the world, and was certainly the most recognizable. Many regard him as the best referee of all-time. Collina graduated with a degree in economics in 1984, but he had started refereeing from 1977, and from 1991, started his career as a Serie A referee. Between then and 2005, he officiated in 240 matches, and regularly took charge of the leading Italian derbies and matches involving the top clubs, Juventus, Internazionale, A. C . Milan and Roma.

His last game in Italy was the Italian Cup match between Bari and Pavia in August 2005 and, three days later, he was in charge of the controversial Champions’ League preliminary round match between Villareal and Everton. Domestically, Collina refereed four Italian Cup finals 1995, 2002, 2004-05 and two Italian Super Cups, 2003-04. At the international level, he was part of 109 international matches. Highlights of his career include two FIFA World Cup appearances, with the 2002 final between Brazil and Germany being his most memorable moment. Collina also took control of the 1996 Olympic final, and the dramatic 1999 Champions’ League final between Manchester United and Bayern München, when the English team won with two goals in injury time to capture the match. Collina also officiated in the final of the 2004 UEFA Cup between Valencia and Marseille.

Collina’s awards included the Giorgio Bernardi trophy for the Best Novice Referee in Serie A in 1992; the Generoso Dattilo award for the best International Italian referee 1997; and the Giovanni Mauro award, for the best Italian referee of 1999. Between December 2006-10, Collina was involved with the designating of referees for Serie A matches, and from 2010 was involved with the designating of UEFA referees.

Collina was admitted to the Referee Hall of Fame in 2011, and also obtained an honorary science degree from Hull University, England, for his contribution to the world of sport. In 2003 Collina published his autobiography “Le mie regole del gioco“ (My Rules of the Game). After his retirement, Collina concentrated on his own business as a financial advisor.


Games Sport (Discipline) / Event NOC / Team Phase Unit Role As
1996 Summer Olympics Football (Football) ITA Pierluigi Collina
Football, Men (Olympic) Match 1/2 Nigeria — Argentina Referee
Football, Men (Olympic) Match #1 Portugal — France Referee
Football, Men (Olympic) Match #2 Spain — Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Referee
Football, Men (Olympic) Match #3 Nigeria — Japan Referee
Football, Women (Olympic) Match #6 People's Republic of China — United States Referee