Iconic referee Pierluigi Collina still gets asked for selfies and autographs

There aren't many referees that can defuse a situation with a piercing stare, but then again, there aren't many referees like Pierluigi Collina.

Collina is instantly recognisable, and 14 years after hanging up his boots and whistle, the former referee still gets asked for photos and autographs on the street.

The 61-year-old was one of the most respected referees on the planet, and he officiated World Cup, Euros, and Champions League finals.

However, after a conflict of interest when he signed a sponsorship deal with the same company as AC Milan, Collina retired in 2006.

And speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Collina revealed fans still approach him on the street, even those who weren't born when he was a ref.

During the interview, Collina is wading in with his opinion on VAR.

“It is difficult to find total uniformity when dealing with rules that are in essence open to interpretation.

"Technology can help to reduce the difference, but it can never eliminate it.

“VAR is like a child that has learned to walk, but not yet to run. In 2014, I participated in the first meeting to discuss the opportunity of technological support for referees.

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"As time goes on, the process will be simplified."

Collina cemented his place in footballing history in a unique way off the field.

As the cover star for Pro Evolution Soccer 3, in late 2002, Collina remains the only referee to appear as a cover star on one of football's big two video games.

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