José María Sánchez Martínez has been chosen by the referee’s committee to officiate the first Liga Clásico of the season at the Bernabéu on December 23.
It will be the third time the Murcian match official has taken charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona this season after he oversaw Los Blancos’ 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in the Bernabéu and the Azulgrana’s win by the same score line in Girona’s Montilivi’s stadium earlier in the campaign.
Sánchez Martínez's Super Cup Clásico debut
It will not be his first Clásico either, the referee having taken charge of the second leg of the 2017 Spanish Super Cup, which Madrid won 2-0 to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory over Barcelona.
Sánchez Martínez earned his Fifa international referee status on January 1 of this year, replacing Carlos Velasco Carballo after he retired. The referee’s committee takes international status into account when selecting a Clásico referee and also highlighted the 34-year-old’s solid performances this season.