The biggest fixture of the La Liga calendar will come up this weekend as Barcelona clash against arch-rivals Real Madrid at Camp Nou in the first El Clasico of the 2021/22 season.

A high-pressure clash with plenty at stakes, more often than not tempers tend to flare over in these contests. So, the referee will have a huge role to play in games like these in order to keep the players in line and ensure that the match goes smoothly.

Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez has now been confirmed has the referee who will officiate this weekend’s El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The 38-year-old is a vastly experienced official, who has overseen 123 La Liga matches in his career. He was honoured with the Best Referee award in Spain for the 2019/20 season, indicating his pedigree.

To date, Sanchez Martinez has taken charge of 24 games involving Barcelona, out of which the Catalans won 19 and lost three (2 draws). He has refereed Real Madrid 23 times, with Los Blancos winning 13 of those fixtures, losing and drawing five apiece.

Sanchez Martinez has officiated four El Clasico games so far in his career, two of which have come in La Liga while the remaining two were a Copa del Rey semi-final and the finals of the Spanish Supercup. Barcelona have won three of these games while Real Madrid have come out on top just once.