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Pierluigi Collina is perhaps the world’s most famous referee and was the centre of attention at a meeting with the press.


The 42-year-old Italian is particularly sought after as he will be in charge of the potentially explosive June 7 clash between England and Argentina.


“It is certainly a great pleasure and a sign of trust in my abilities,” commented Collina, “to be called upon in order to referee such an enigmatic tie as England-Argentina.”


“I was lucky in France ’98 to take charge of Belgium-Holland and then England-Germany, and I am also fortunate now.”


“It is a great deal of responsibility and I will prepare to be on top form for this appointment.”


Historically this has been one of the most controversial and violent games in World Cup history, often ending with recrimination from both sides.


Collina was also asked if he worried that yet another dubious decision could spark off clashes in the stands or outside the stadium.


“A referee,” responded the Viareggio native, “must only concentrate on the game at hand. The rest does not involve him.”


“I already have experience of Germany’s match with England in France ’98, a game that was held in a particularly strange atmosphere due to the fan troubles.”


“It was nonetheless a good game and there were no real disciplinary problems. Players are professionals who know that millions of people are watching them. The important thing for me is to prepare so I am ready for this match.”


FIFA directors have often commented that Collina is the world’s best referee and he revealed how he has achieved this status.


“Physical preparation is crucial,” he explained, “so that we can stay close to the action at all times – a prerequisite for a good decision.”


Collina undergoes two hours of intense training every morning before sitting down to watch videos of the teams he is going to referee.


“It is indispensable that you know the style of play that the two sides have beforehand. In modern football the movement of players is very different depending on whether they have a three or four man defence, with two wingers out wide who tend to move towards the centre, or committed pressure in midfield and the use of the offside trap.”


“I keep up to date with how these teams work so that I know how to move around the field in a way that keeps me close to the action.”


“For example,” continued the financial advisor, “we know that Alessandro Del Piero starts out wide on the left only to move back inside. So when he gets the ball in that area I run straight to the centre instead of the left flank.”


Collina is currently studying the tactics of England and Argentina. New FIFA rules ask referees to stamp down on diving, so will he be keeping a particularly close eye on Ariel Ortega?


“Absolutely not,” he assured. “Preparation is important, but even more crucial is not to go into a game with preconceptions on the players.”


“The referee must judge everything he sees on the field as just that. As for diving, we are all prepared for this eventuality. It isn’t an easy call to make, but it is a responsibility the referee must take upon himself.”

(channel 4)
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Didnt know Referee's job is sooo involved :dazed:
 
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