The Most Famous Man in the Middle

When the tournament kicked off in Porto Saturday afternoon, one man stood out on the pitch as much as Portugal star Luís Figo: the towering, bald Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, whose glowering stare has helped make him the game's only celebrity whistle-blower. For more than 20 years, Collina, a 44-year-old financial adviser from Bologna, has deployed his ferocious gaze — and slightly scary smile — in an increasingly prestigious range of matches, including the 1999 Champions League final, the 2002 World Cup final, and May's UEFA Cup final. But since Italian rules dictate that referees retire at 45, these European Championships...

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