Footballers typically get to bask in the limelight, but that all changed when an eerily bald Italian match official came into the sport.
A devout fan of basketball should really have no business being voted the best football referee in the world (winning the referee of the year accolade six times consecutively from 1998 to 2003). But Pierluigi Collina is no ordinary hoop fan, nor is he an ordinary referee.
And so, it was always going to be a strange proposition for a couple of hardcore footy fans to speak to the Italian, who was down for the Business Of Innovation 2014 forum in Kuala Lumpur recently to share insight into his decades-long career.
But having watched football for the better part of the last three decades, Collina has certainly stood tall above the rest of the men in black. Heck, he’s the Jimi Hendrix of football referees, if that analogy could be allowed.