Referees are the people in the game of Football who are responsible for interpreting and enforcing the Laws of the Game during a match. Final decisions of the match are taken by the Referee by connecting all the facts from the game. Referees have the authority to start or stop the match and impose disciplinary action against players and coaches during a match. Check Top 10 Best Football Referees of All Time 2021.
A referee is assisted by two other referees who advise the referee on whether the ball leaves the playing area and any mischief that takes place outside the view of the referee. In higher levels, a fourth official is also there who supervises the teams’ technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks. Referees are licensed and trained by their member national organizations.
Top 10 Best Football Referees of All Time 2021
Being a referee is not an easy task, especially in Football where the heat of the moment is very high, Referees have to run continuously and watch the ball and the players at the same time and give the correct decision. They have to face the criticism of the players and people and they have to stay firm on their decision. Decisions can change the course of the game, yet some Referees are able to do their tasks very well. Let’s have a look at the best Referees of all time.
10. Howard Webb
Howard Melton Webb is an English Football Referee who was born on 14 July 1971 in West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Webb was Official of The Premier League from 2003-14 and FIFA international referee from 2005 to 2014. In 2010, he became the first person to referee the finals of both the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup in the same year.
9. Sándor Puhl
Sándor Puhl was a Hungarian Referee who was born on 14 July 1955 in Miskolc, Hungary. He was a FIFA-listed Referee from 1988-2000 and was elected as IFFHS’ World’s Best Referee of the Year four times in a row between 1994 and 1997. Unfortunately on 20 May 2021, Puhl passed away at the age of 65 due to Covid-19.
8. Peter Mikkelsen
Peter Mikkelsen was a Danish Referee who was born on 1 May 1960 in Amager, Denmark. Peter was a FIFA-listed Referee from 1985-96. He was awarded IFFHS World’s Best Referee in the years 1991 and 1993. Peter died on January 30, 2019, at the age of 58.
7. Michel Vautrot
Michel Jean Maurice Vautrot is a retired French referee who was born on 23 October 1945 in Saint-Vit, France. He was a FIFA-listed Referee from 1975 to 1990. He has been awarded Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 2006.
6. Pedro Proença
Pedro Proença Oliveira Alves Garcia is a retired Portuguese Referee who was born on 3 November 1970 in Lisbon, Portugal. He was a FIFA-listed Referee from 2003-15 and was named as the Portuguese Referee of the Year in 2006-07. He was voted by the IFFHS as the Best Referee of 2012. He retired in January 2015.
5. Kim Milton Nielsen
Kim Milton Nielsen is a former Danish Football Referee born on 3 August 1960 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kim was a FIFA-listed Referee from 1988-2005 and had to retire on 16 May 2006 as he had reached the then-FIFA regulated age limit of 45.
4. Frank De Bleeckere
Frank De Bleecker is a former Belgian Referee born on 1 July 1966 in Oudenaarde, Belgium. He was the FIFA-listed Referee from 1998-2012 and is regarded as one of the best Referees.
3. Markus Merk
Markus Merk is a former German Referee born on 15 March 1962 in Kaiserslautern. He was IFFHS’s best Referee In the years 2004, 2005, and 2008. He is a six-time winner of the German Referee of the Year Award and the record holder in games refereed in the Bundesliga.
2. Óscar Ruiz
Óscar Julián Ruiz Acosta is a former Columbian Refree born on 1 November 1969, in Villavicencio. He was a FIFA-listed Referee from 1995-2011. He officiated in 2002, 2006, and 2010 FIFA World Cups. He is now a FIFA Referee instructor.
1. Pierluigi Collina
Pierluigi Collina is an Italian former football referee born 13 February 1960 in Bologna, Italy. Collina was a FIFA-listed Referee from 1995-2005 and was named FIFA’s “Best Referee of the Year” six consecutive times and is widely considered to be the best football referee of all time.