Pioneering sex-change surgeon to referee in Real Madrid game

Pioneering sex-change surgeon to referee in Real Madrid game
A pioneering surgeon by profession, Cesar Noval sidelines as a referee. Photo: AFP
Groundbreaking Spanish surgeon Cesar Noval will set aside the scalpel on Saturday and pick up an assistant referee's flag to run the line as Eibar host Real Madrid in La Liga

Noval made headlines across Spain on Wednesday for carrying out an entire female-male sex change in a single marathon operation for a 29-year-old called “Rafa.”

“This is a pioneering operation in the Valencia region aimed at shaping an entire trans man in a single operation,” Noval told a press conference on Tuesday, two months after the surgery.

Over 17 hours in Valencia, Noval operated on Rafa's face and chest and carried out phalloplasty (building a functioning penis).   

He outlined the details of the operation in a press conference here: 

According to the Spanish press, the process of “sexual reassignment” usually takes between two and 10 years in Spain.   

“The result is a great success,” Noval said.   

As a sideline Noval is on referee Juan Martinez Munuera's officiating team in La Liga.

“I love it and I'm passionate about it,” Noval said.    

Noval's top-level officiating began in a Copa del Rey match between Teruel and Real Union in 2010. 

In 2016 he ran the line for the first time in La Liga as Gareth Bale scored twice in a 3-0 win for Real Madrid at Real Sociedad.   

He has also been on duty for Europa League and Champions League qualifiers.   

This season's highlight was a goalless draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Madrid derby.

“I had the opportunity to be an assistant in Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid and that is a privilege and a unique experience.”