Pierluigi Collina unrecognisable with hair in rare snap of ref before bald bonce
Pierluigi Collina is one of the most recognisable referees in football, largely thanks to his bald bonce.
He may be long retired, but the fiery Italian still holds a special place in the hearts of football fans around the world. Collina was one of the most feared officials in the world in his day, commanding respect from players and managers alike before hanging up his whistle in 2005.
Now the Chairman of the FIFA referees committee, Collina, 62, still boasts his trademark chrome-dome, brought on by severe alopecia when he was younger. But an old picture has now emerged of the iconic whistler before his hair-loss condition set in.
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The blurry image shows a young Collina of indeterminable age wearing an all black strip with a turned down white collar. Supposedly taken before he made his Serie A debut in 1991, Collina has thick, wavy black hair that almost obscures his face.
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It's a far cry from the image of Collina fans are used to, caused by the onset of alopecia. Former Premier League referee Graham Poll reckons the affliction came as a gift to the Italian as it made him more recognisable to the public.
"Pierluigi was given a gift at the age of 26 when he got alopecia," Poll exclaimed to Casinos En Ligne. "He says this himself. He showed us photos of him when he was young when he had loads of hair and no one could recognise him.
"He said see I’m just normal here with hair. He said once he went bald he became very recognisable and it gave him this image. He used to say 90% of his job was done before he even stepped on the pitch which to me is incredible. Reputation counts for so much. And if he made a mistake he was still a good referee who made a mistake, not a bad referee."
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