PIERLUIGI COLLINA THURSDAY’S MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Thursday’s all-Dutch UEFA Cup quarterfinal between PSV and Feyenoord will be led by Pierluigi Collina. The 42-year-old Italian with his trademark bald head is arguably the world’s first superstar referee. In the past the Bologna-based financial advisor whistled a Champions League final and a number of games at Euro 2000 and the 1998 World Cup.

Collina has been voted the best referee in the world four years running (1998-2001) by the International Football Federation of Historians and Statisticians. The Italian will be assisted Thursday by fellow countryman Marco Ivaldi and the Belorussian Yury Dupanov. Fourth official is Alfredo Trentalange, another Italian.
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