Refereeing runs in the family of Medina Cantalejo, Luis' father and grandfather were also referees. When young Luis Medina Cantalejo was a football player in the Spanish third division, and when playing took too much of the time he needed to study, he decided to change to refereeing as well.
His first Primera Division match was in 1998.
He was an Elite Category referee and retired internationally in 2009.
He had his debut in the Primera Division in 1998 and his first international match in 2002. Internationally a first really important match was the final in the under 21 World Championships in Germany 2004 (two red cards for Serbia Montenegro). Then he until he joined the team of referees for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. He officiated four matches, the last one being the quarter final between France and Brazil. But the match he will be remembered by is the one between Italy and Australia. Medina Cantalejo awarded a penalty to Italy in the last minute, kicking Australia out of the tournament.
And then, finally at the end of a his career, a real final: the one of the 2009 UEFA Cup. Medina Cantalejo, who in many people's eyes yet had to recover from the 2006 World Cup, got to show the world why he is a premier elite referee.
out with a bang
And the UEFA Cup final became his last international match. Medina Cantalejo announced his retirement July 2009.