Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Who Are Some Of The Most Famous Referees In Football History

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Bernard Ford
A Leicester City fan. Wants respect from the 'London based' media for clubs outside the bubble.

When it comes to football, usually the players get all the attention. Most of the time, the ones on the pitch, especially the strikers, are the ones who get all the fame but there are exceptions. Here we want to talk about the part of football that does not receive the recognition that is well deserved in the referees.

The referee has the most important job on the pitch, to keep the game fair and impartial and to keep the players as safe as possible. Some who mention the referees the most are the football bettors since their decisions have a full impact on the bets. If you are interested in betting apps as well, you can look these up.

Let’s look at some of the most famous referees in the history of the Beautiful Game. 

Pierluigi Collina

Because of his direct approach to the game, Pierluigi Collina was recognized as the best referee of his generation by players and fans alike. After officiating 43 Italy Serie A matches, he was added to FIFA’s list of referees.

He was scheduled to cover five matches at the 1996 Olympics, one of which was the gold medal match between Argentina and Nigeria. In the space of three years, Pierluigi oversaw both the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany and the 1999 UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. From 1998-2003 Collinia was named the World’s Best Referee by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

Sándor Puhl

Hungarian referee Sándor Puhl is most remembered for the matches during the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, when he oversaw four matches, including the finals between Brazil and Italy.

Between 1994 and 1997, he won the IFFHS award for World’s Best Referee four times in a row. Upon leaving the pitch as a referee, he served as the Hungarian Football Association’s Deputy Chairman from 2000 until 2006. Sadly, In 2021, the referee and football legend passed away at the age of 65 from Covid-19 complications.

Howard Webb

Webb was born on July 14th, 1971, and before deciding to concentrate on refereeing, he worked as a police officer for South Yorkshire Police in England. Webb first refereed local matches in 1989, and after a year as an assistant in the Northern Counties East League, he was elevated to the role permanently in 1995. The Football League promoted him to assistant referee in 1996, the Premier League raised him to the same post in 1998, and the Football Conference upgraded him to full referee in 2000.

Known mostly for his work as a Premier League referee from 2003 through 2014, Webb also served as a FIFA international referee from 2005 until 2014. In 2010 he became the first referee to oversee the finals of the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup in the same year. he was respected by managers, players, and pundits and in 2014 took the post of the Professional Game Match Officials Board technical director.


It might not seem like it, but to be a football referee is not an easy job being jeered by opposing fans on the pitch with the main goal of keeping the match clean. Their decisions impact the outcome of the match, which means any error can be heavily scrutinized. That’s why, although often, overlooked, the referees are one of the most important people on the pitch.

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