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Legendary Referee Pierluigi Collina Had A Theory When Deciding If An Elbow Was Deliberate Or Not

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Legendary Referee Pierluigi Collina Had A Theory When Deciding If An Elbow Was Deliberate Or Not

Pierluigi Collina had a smart theory on how to decide if a player had deliberately elbowed an opponent or if it was an accidental collision when jumping for the ball.

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No referee in the history of football is as well remembered as Collina. The Italian's bald head and beady eyed stare were iconic.

As well as an iconic look, Collina was remembered mainly for making a lot of correct decisions and his control of games, which led to him getting a lot of high profile games.

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The 61-year-old reffed famous matches such as the 1999 Champions League final, 2002 World Cup final and England's 5-1 win over Germany.

And one English referee revealed what was possibly Collina's favourite trick on how to work out if a player purposely elbowed his opponent.

Writing in his autobiography, Graham Poll explained Collina's theory saying the Italian told him to look at a player's hand. If he had it balled up in a fist then the elbow was intentional, if not it was likely an accident.

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Whilst the Italian's career is still thought back on fondly today, Poll is best known for handing one player three yellow cards during a World Cup game.

At the 2006 tournament he booked Josip Simunic in Croatia's group game with Australia, he produced a second yellow card later in the game but failed to follow it up with a red.

Very late on Simunic ended up with a third yellow, followed by a red, for dissent, when you'd have thought he might want to keep a low profile.

Poll books Simunic during the infamous game. Image: PA Images
Poll books Simunic during the infamous game. Image: PA Images
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Whilst Collina managed to avoid too much criticism throughout his career, though Everton fans might not remember him quite so fondly, it's certainly not the case for most referees at the moment.

The use of VAR has only added to the confusion over decisions, with people calling for referees to come out in the press and explain their decisions, something that has started in Italy.

In England some have called for players to clap refs onto the pitch as a mark of respect, because apparently everything in this country can be fixed with applause...

If Collina is the best ref of all time, who do you think is the worst? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Referees

Ryan Sidle
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