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Pierluigi Collina Net worth and Family | Godfather of all Football referees

If you are a football fan, weren’t you ever curious to find out about the person who is rated as the world’s best football referee? Without a doubt, he is Pierluigi Collina, who is considered to be the most significant football referee of all time.

Pierluigi is a former Italian football referee who acted as the head of referees for the Ukranian Association of Football in 2010. By the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, he was named “The world’s best referee,” six times consecutively from 1998 to 2003. Collina has an estimated net worth of around 4 Million USD as of 2023.

Pierluigi is married to Gianna Collina and they have two daughters named Francesca and Carolina. This 63-year-old referee announced his retirement in 2005 after a Champion League Qualifier game between Everton and Villarreal.

Read the entire article to learn more about Pierluigi Collina

Pierluigi Collina’s net worth as of 2023 

Being the world’s best football referee of all time and a businessman, Pierluigi’s estimated net worth is $4 million as of 2023. Other than football being the main source of income, he managed to get involved in advertising and brand promotion. Moreover, his distinctive appearance also paved the way for his earnings. 

Pierluigi Collina Wife, Son and Family

Pierluigi met his wife Gianna in Versilia and they moved to Viareggio, a coastal town in Northern Tuscany. Gianna Collina is 60 years old and the couple has spent nearly 40 years together. They have two daughters named Francesca Collina and Carolina Collina.

In 2019, a rumor circulated in the media about Pierluigi and Gianna adopting a child. The couple addressed the public and denied the news shared by an Armenian press. In an interview conducted by ANSA, Pierluigi said “Although I esteem those who decide to do this legally, my wife and I have never considered adopting a child.”

Who is Pierluigi Collina? 

Pierluigi Collina is a renowned soccer official born in Bologna, Italy, on February 13, 1960. He was born to Luciana Collina, who was a primary school teacher, and Elia Collina, who worked at the Ministry of Defense. He grew up and completed his higher studies in Bologna. Pierluigi graduated in 1984 from the University of Bologna with a degree in economics. 

When Pierluigi Collina was a teenager, he was obliged to follow a referee course, even though he was a huge basketball fan and the defender of the local team. Accordingly, he developed his passion as a referee. Read the following section to learn about his football referee journey. 

In 1988, Pierluigi met his wife, Gianna Collina, and after moving in for a while, they decided to live in the coastal town of Viareggio. He is also a father of two daughters. Sadly, Pierluigi had to and still suffers from a disease, ‘Alopecia Areata,’ that causes hair loss, which is the reason for his baldness

His sickness was a serious condition, giving him a unique appearance with permanent facial hair loss and baldness. However, Pierluigi’s distinctive appearance dragged him to success, earning him the nickname Kojak

Full name Pierluigi Collina
Age 63 years old
Date of BirthFebruary 13, 1960 
Mother Luciana Collina 
FatherElia Collina
Higher educationUniversity of Bologna
Profession Football referee
Marital statusMarried
Spouse name Giana Collina 
Children2 daughters

Pierluigi Collina’s football life 

As a teenager, Pierluigi Collina was the tallest among his friends, who shared a passion for football. His dream was to become a professional football player, and he played football at a young age, covering the center-half position. However, he realized over time that he lacked the progression and skill to be a professional football player

Pierluigi Collina left his dream to be a football player and signed up for a football refereeing course at 17. Thus, he identified his natural ability to officiate the game rather than play it. He was hired three years later and officiated regional games. Pierluigi also completed his compulsory military service and continued to be a referee, intertwining his military experiences with the game. 

Pierluigi Collina

As a football referee, Pierluigi officially began his career officiating in the Italian professional leagues. He served in the UEFA Champions League, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1998 World Cup, the 2002 World Cup, and many more, being rated as the “best referee of all time for six consecutive times.” 

When Pierluigi was 45 years old, the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio) took a significant step by raising the age limit of referees to 46 years on behalf of Pierluigi Collina so that he could officiate the 2006 World Cup finals. This proves that he is the best referee of all time. In 2005, Pierluigi retired from his 28-year refereeing career

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Why is Pierluigi Collina so famous? 

Pierluigi is well known for his significant personality. He is famous for his looks and ‘his bald head and piercing blue eyes, give him a distinctive appearance. Pierluigi developed a severe form of alopecia, that made him lose his hair.  

Pierluigi Collina was also famous for his skills and is still referred to as the “godfather of all referees.” He shook players as a referee, and players respected him even though they were mediocre or brilliant players. Collina was uninterested in ranks and positions; thus, he reprimanded even world-famous players such as Ronaldo Nazario, Javier Zanetti, Diego Simeone, and so on. 

On the playing field, his combination of toughness and kindness earned him a unique star in the world of sports. Because of his complete unbiasedness, willingness to own up to his errors, and commanding presence, Collina is often regarded as the best referee in history. 

What he is doing now 

Pierluigi retired from his refereeing career in 2005 and continued his journey as a non-paid consultant to the Italian Football Referees and as a member of the UEFA Referees Committee. He served as the UEFA’s first-ever chief refereeing officer after his retirement, and currently, he focuses on building his financial advisory practice. 

Pierluigi Collina

Pierluigi Collina’s awards 

IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics) World’s Best Referee: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003. 

IFFS world’s best referee from 1987 to 2020.

• Honorary degree: doctor of Science in 2004, awarded by the University of Hull for his contribution to sports. 

• Serie A Referee of the Year: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

• Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2011.

Final impressions on Pierluigi Collina 

As Pierluigi himself declares, he proved that “you have to be accepted on the field of play, not because you are the referee, but because people trust you.” It is vivid that Collina is a man of rules who proved himself to be the most distinctive referee of all time. 


1. Who is the best referee in history? 

Pierluigi Collina is ranked number 1. 

2. When did Pierluigi Collina retire?

 In 2005 

3. For how many years did Collina referee? 

28 years 

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Kalana Dhananjaya
Kalana Dhananjaya
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