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Collina hangs up his whistle


officeglenn

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Widely regarded as the best referee in European soccer and highly respected by coaches, players and fans alike, Pierluigi Collina officially retired from the game today: ESPNSoccernet.com.

I find it interesting that, even after all the important matches Collina has presided over and his reputation as one of the best in the game, all the media seem to want to focus on is scandal and controversy. The second paragraph in the above-linked story talks about a perceived conflict of interest, and many are likely speculating if his decision to wave off an Everton goal in a Champions League qualifier last week played any part in his decision.

'I can't help it. People must believe in a referee. In the end, we have all lost out,' (Collina) told a news conference in his home town of Viareggio.

Amen to that.

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Its a tough job to be a referee in soccer, especially in Europe. Think all the abuse a Ump or hockey Ref takes in North America, and multiply it by 100,000 and you get a European Soccer ref. Collina is undoubtedly the best ref in Europe and its sad to see him go. I can only think of one other ref that is in the same league as him and thats Graham Poll.

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Not so sure Glenn... his reputation outside of Italy is a lot better than his reputation in Italy. Like most Italian referees he's often accused of favouring Juventus or AC Milan, and its not without some basis when you look at the decisions.

That said he's been brilliant in European and International games.

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