Perluigi Collina has expressed his delight at being chosen to referee the World Cup final in Yokohama on Sunday, describing it as one of the proudest moment of career.

“It’s a big award for me and I’m very proud to have received it” he said.

Collina was keen to give credit to his refereeing colleagues in Italy.

‘I’m proud because my nomination for the World Cup final is not only an award for me, but also for the whole class of Italian referees,’ he added.

The distinctive Italian is widely regarded as the world’s best referee and was chosen to officiate the potentially difficult clash between Argentina and England in the group stages of the competition.

The choice was also greeted with enthusiasm by Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari.

“I consider Collina to be a wonderful referee” he said, adding that the appointment as “fantastic”.

“All the world admires him. The players, the trainers and even the press respect him” he said.

“On top of this he is Italian so I will be able to speak his language” he added.