Italy’s Pierluigi Collina was named on Tuesday the best referee of the last 25 years by a football statistics institution.
Institute of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) from Cologne is a German-based statistics research body that regularly releases rankings lists detailed the world’s most popular or successful clubs and players. The IFFHS issued a ranking of the world’s best referees in the past quarter century, since 1987 to 2011. First place belongs to the 51-year-old Bologna native, legendary Italian referee Pierluigi Collina. Collina began refereeing professionally in 1988 in Italy’s Serie C and promoted quickly to the top-flight Serie A. He was famously described as being too objective and unswayable by bribes. Second is Markus Merk from Germany, followed by the Danes Kim Milton Nielsen and Peter Mikkelsen and best ranked South American referee is Colombian Oscar Julian Ruiz.