The semi-final draw handed us the prospect of home and away matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and officials have been appointed.
The Spanish Football Federation has already published the names of the officials that will take charge of the Copa del Rey semi-finals that were confirmed during the draw on Friday in Seville.
Clásico referee Mateu
Experienced Spaniard Antonio Mateu Lahoz will have the whistle for the first leg at the Camp Nou on 6 February. He will be supported from the VAR room by Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea. In the other tie, between Real Betis and Valencia, Carlos del Cerro Grande will be the man in the middle for the first encounter at the Estadio Benito Villamarín, and will have Xavier Estrada Fernández on hand to help for those more debatable decisions.
Mateu has already taken charge of Madrid and Barça in LaLiga games this season, although not in the earlier rounds of the cup. Los Blancos have seen two victories under his watch, against Espanyol (1-0) and Sevilla (2-0). In fact, it was the game against the Catalans where he worked in conjunction with De Burgos Bengoetxea for VAR, and the review system was to thank for a Marco Asensio goal being correctly given. Without it, those three points would likely have gone a-begging.
For Barça, the Valencian referee was in charge for that incredible match against one of the other semi-finalists, Real Betis. In the 4-3 win for the Verdiblancos at the Camp Nou, Mateu also required the assistance of VAR, resulting in a goal for Lionel Messi being initially ruled out for an offside earlier in the move by Vidal, but Martinez Munuera rectified it with the help of a replay.
There will be many millions of eyes on the first leg which takes place at the Camp Nou on 6 February, with most hoping that the referee and his VAR colleagues are not going to make any controversial headlines.