There have been few idol figures in football when it comes to the world of refereeing but if you should ask anyone who they think the best referee ever is, Pierluigi Collina would win by a country mile.
It poses a second question. Will we ever find someone like him who holds almost an elite status?
Who do you think the best current modern referee is and I think slowly but surely, Howard Webb is stepping out into the limelight. Despite what was described as a “blemish” for the beautiful game’s 2010 World Cup final that Howard Webb took charge of, Webb’s refereeing has become less and less controversial and he has cemented his figure with players on the field including television viewers who are now quite well aware of his name. These two football figures seemed to have figured out the secret formula behind refereeing without taking the blame in the spotlight. It’s a charisma.
Webb has returned to the World Cup to reach the knockout stages yet again and remain on the list in consideration for a final although it seems highly unlikely for a second appointment on the grand stage.
With three years left on the international list, we are yet to see what type of referee Howard will leave an impression as and if the World Cup 2010 final will indeed hang over his head for history to come or if it can become a forgotten footnote with stellar performances on the international stage.
Is it magic or simply good refereeing? Regardless, experience has proved the factor in getting to this stage for both officials and oddly watching them and analysing their performances are simply not enough to understand it. It has been a long-term process for them to become the best officials we may ever see.