In the aftermath of England’s match against Turkey yesterday, it has to be said that Pierluigi Collina is undoubtedly THE best referee in the world of football. How many other refs would get a standing ovation from the crowd before the game? Okay, so maybe the Turkish supporters were trying to influence him, but I doubt it. He doesn’t strike me or anyone as the sort of character who can be swayed by mere flattery.
Apparently he studies videos of all the players he is likely to be refereeing to get to know what they’re like, how they play and how to read their reaction to incidents so as not to misinterpret them. That is sheer professionalism and I wish some of our home-grown refs would learn from him.
And then the way he sorted out the trouble at half-time. There was all sorts of nonsense going on in the tunnel as the teams left the pitch, mainly between Alpay and Beckham. The potential for that to bubble over in the second half was there for all to see, but Collina simply summoned the players to his room during the break, read them the riot act, and that was that.
Can we have him for every game please?