Fernando Teixeira Vitienes refereed three Clásicos between 2011 and 2012 and sat down with Relevo to give an insight into what the game is like from a referee’s perspective.
The 52-year-old famously sent off Sergio Ramos at Camp Nou, as well as angering José Mourinho so much that he waited for him in the parking lot after a game.
On the kind of referee required for Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Vitienes said: “It has much more follow-up and demands more responsibility from you, that is the reality of it. That’s why the referees who normally act in these matches are veteran referees and not novices.”
Vitienes spoke about the tough experiences that he has faced and mentioned a time when someone called his house and his wife had to answer the phone. He said thankfully these kinds of occurrences are rare and normally what happens on the field stays on the field.
When asked to give advice to the referee for this weekend’s El Clásico, Vitienes said: “I always say that they have to be prepared. Enjoy the game because these are games to enjoy, where the protagonists are always the players… they are the ones who make us enjoy it or suffer because of it.”
The referee for Saturday’s game is Jesús Gil Manzano. Manzano most recently took charge of the 1-1 draw between Villarreal and Alavés, where he handed out seven yellow cards.
Japtej Ghura | GSFN