Without having good officials, the quality of a football game is compromised greatly. The correct decisions make for a fair and square game, and eliminate any bias and unnecessary reactions from teams which can cause tumult on the pitch. In this article, we will be taking a look at the top 5 referees of all-time in football.
Top 5 referees of all-time in football: Who makes the list?
5. Markus Merk (Germany)
The youngest Bundesliga official at the age of 25 in 1988, Markus Merk was named the German referee of the year six times and the IFFHS best referee of the year three times. He also works as a dentist and an analyst for Turkey’s domestic league.
4. Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
Cakir has been officiating matches in Turkey since 2001, and was in charge of the UEFA Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus in 2015 and the UEFA Champions League semi final between Barcelona and Chelsea in 2012. He has also officiated six World Cup games in the last ten years.
3. Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Kuipers was the man in charge for the Euro 2020 finals between England and Italy. Since earning his FIFA badge in 2006, he has overseen 10 international finals. He has also been in charge of important games in the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Euros, Europa League Finals, and UEFA Champions League Finals.
2. Howard Webb (England)
The only English referee to feature in the list of the top 5 referees of all-time, Webb was in charge of the 2010 Champions League and World Cup finals. Prior to his retirement in 2014, he officiated in the Premier League since 2005, as well as the FA Cup final, the FA Community Shield and the League Cup final.
1. Pierluigi Collina (Italy)
It comes as no surprise to see Collina as number one of the top 5 referees of all-time. The 1999 UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United and the 1996 Olympic Men’s Football final between Nigeria and Argentina are two of his best performances. But throughout his career, he was reputed for not putting up with misbehaviour, and was able to conduct matches with the utmost discipline.