With a dozen El Clásico match-ups under his belt, beIN SPORTS’ Jose Hernandez has witnessed the searing sting of defeat and the soaring heights of victory first-hand. His Spanish language commentary has kept fans close to the action for years, and his passion for the game comes through every time. We had the chance to speak with Hernandez ahead of this year’s showdown, to get some of his insights on the power and magic of La Liga, and how he expects this year’s match-up to go down.

How many El Clásicos have you called as an announcer? 

I believe this upcoming one on May 6th will be my 13th with BeIN Sports! My boss juts told me the other day, “Did you know that you’re the announcer that’s called the most El Clásicos in the US?” I had no idea!

Do you have a favorite El Clásico match or moment that has really stuck with you?

Every El Clásico is special, to be honest with you. You don’t know what to expect, and a lot of times when you expect one thing, the outcome will be completely different. Of the 12 that I’ve called, there’s one that really sticks in my mind, and will probably be with me forever. On November 18th, 2015, my father passed away. I was on my way to Spain to call the Clásico, and I had to basically change all my plans. Three days later on the 21st, my partner and I Eduardo Sayed, who’s no longer at the company, called what was in the end a very special game. Not only because of the performances of the players, but also because of what I was going through personally. I’m sure my father was watching from heaven, and I’m sure he wanted me to be there. I had to put a lot of effort into being there mentally, but I was ready to go once I heard the blow of the whistle.

Read the entire interview here, and explore all things El Clásico on our dedicated page.