The Liga ZON Sagres logo (since 2010)
|Number of teams||16|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Segunda Liga|
|Domestic cup(s)||Taça de Portugal
Taça da Liga
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Porto (27th title)
|Most championships||Benfica (32 titles)|
|2012–13 Primeira Liga|
The Primeira Liga (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɾiˈmejɾɐ ˈliɣɐ]), formerly called Primeira Divisão, now named Liga ZON Sagres after its main sponsors, ZON Multimédia and Sagres, is the top professional association football division of the Portuguese football league system.
The Liga ZON Sagres is contested by 16 clubs each season, but only five of them have won the title. Founded in 1934, the league is in its 79th edition (counting four provisional championships in the 1930s) and is dominated by the nicknamed "Big Three": SL Benfica, FC Porto, and Sporting CP, who have a total of 77 titles, with Belenenses and Boavista winning the other two.
The league has been increasing in reputation in the last few years, having achieved 5th place in UEFA's European ranking of 2012, breaking into the top five and passing the French Ligue 1, one of the historical "big five" leagues, for the first time since 1990. It achieved the same 5th place ranking in 2013. The league also has a world ranking of 4 by IFFHS's ranking of 2011.
Before the Portuguese football reform of 1938, an experimental competition on a round-basis was already being held – the Primeira Liga (Premier League) and the winners of that competition were named "League champions". Despite that, a Portuguese Championship in a knock-out cup format was the most popular and defined the Portuguese champion.
Then, with the reform, a round-robin basis competition was implemented as the most important of the calendar and began defining the Portuguese champion. From 1938–2000, the name Campeonato Nacional da Primeira Divisão (National Championship of the First Division), or just Primeira Divisão (First Division), was used. When the Portuguese League for Professional Football took control of the two nationwide leagues in 1999, it was renamed Campeonato Nacional da Primeira Liga (Premier League National Championship), or simply Primeira Liga (Premier League).
"The Big Three" (Portuguese: Os Três Grandes) is a nickname for the three most powerful sports clubs in Portugal. With the exception of Belenenses in 1945–46 and Boavista in 2000–01, only three clubs have won the Primeira Liga title – SL Benfica (thirty-two times), FC Porto (twenty-seven) and Sporting CP (eighteen times). These three clubs generally end up sharing the top three positions, appearing more frequently in UEFA competitions.
These clubs dominate Portuguese football, and it has become typical for fans to support any of these teams as a "first club", with a local team probably coming afterwards, if at all. The "Big Three" have the highest average attendance ratings every season in Portugal, while the other teams, lacking support from the locals (with the exception of Académica de Coimbra, Vitória de Guimarães and Braga, which are the next-most supported clubs), have suffered from poor attendance. The lack of support for local teams is considered to be one of the main reasons why Portuguese Football registers one of the worst attendance ratings in European Football's best championships, alongside the broadcast of almost all the games in television. In other sports, the rivalry between the big clubs is also considerable and it usually leads to arguments between the fans and players.
Benfica is the club with most Championship, Cup and League Cup titles, and the most Domestic titles won. Porto is the club with most Portuguese SuperCups and International titles won, as well as, the team with most titles won overall. Sporting holds the third place when it comes to the most Championships titles and Cups titles won. Benfica is the only Portuguese club to have won two consecutive European Cup titles, reaching nine European finals: seven European Cups and two UEFA Cup/Europa League, and finished runner-up in two Intercontinental Cups. Porto is the only Portuguese club to have won any European Competition (excluding the Intertoto Cup, the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup) since 1987, gathering a total of two European Cup/UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Cup/Europa League, 1 European Super Cup and 2 Intercontinental Cups, and finished runner-up in one European Cup Winner's Cup and three UEFA Super Cups. Sporting won one European Cup Winner's Cup and was runner-up in one UEFA Cup. Apart from the big three, Braga won the last Intertoto Cup and was runner-up in one Europa League.
Galp Energia acquired the naming rights to the league in 2002, titling the division SuperLiga GalpEnergia. A four-year deal with the Austrian sports betting web portal bwin was announced on 18 August 2005 amid questioning by the other gambling authorities in Portugal (the Santa Casa da Misericórdia and the Portuguese Casinos Association), who claimed to hold the exclusive rights to legal gambling games in Portuguese national territory. After holding the name Liga betandwin.com for the 2005–06 season, the name was changed to BWINLIGA in July 2006.
From the 2008–09 season, the league has been named Liga Sagres due to sponsorship from Sagres beer. In 2010, they renewed the sponsorship from Sagres, but also got the sponsorship from ZON Multimédia, the leading pay-TV services provider. The league is now called Liga ZON Sagres.
- Sponsorship names for seasons
- 2002–2005: SuperLiga GalpEnergia
- 2005–2006: Liga betandwin.com
- 2006–2008: BWINLIGA
- 2008–2010: Liga Sagres
- 2010–2013: Liga ZON Sagres
From the 2006–07 season on, there are 16 clubs in the Primeira Liga, down from 18 in the previous seasons. During the course of a season, each club plays all teams twice – once at their home stadium and once at their opponent's – for a total of 30 games. At the end of each season, the two lowest placed teams are relegated to the Segunda Liga, and the top two teams from Segunda Liga are promoted to the Primeira Liga.
Current clubs in the Primeira Liga (2012–13)
Names in bold are the colloquial names of the clubs.
Within Portugal, SportTV holds rights to broadcast both first and second division matches, through their Premium Channels, SportTV 1, SportTV 2, SportTV 4 and in HD on the respective HD simulcast of each channel. All clubs negotiate individually with the channel.
- Belgium – Belgacom (Two live games a week)
- France- Ma Chaine Sport
- Greece – Novasports (weekly coverage + highlights)
- Brazil – BandSports, Esporte Interativo, Sportv
- Italy – Sportitalia (free weekly coverage + one live match + highlights)
- Latin America – Gol TV (without Mexico and Brazil)
- Poland – Orange Sport
- Spain – Gol Television
- United States – ESPN3 (weekly coverage), SPT TV (dish network. All matches live on premium tier channels), ISA Sports (all matches live on premium tier channels) and SportTV (several games on SportTV Américas)
- Mexico- Gol TV
- Norway- TV 2 Sport
- Canada- Setanta Sports (Canada), Gol TV, Bell TV, RTP Internacional, Sport TV
- Qatar- Al Jazeera Sport
- Morocco- Arryadia
- Africa – RTP (one game a week on RTP África), SportTV (several games on SportTV África)
- Worldwide – RTP (one game a week on RTP Internacional)
- Indonesia- LejelSport, TelkomVision Arena
Official match ball
UEFA League Ranking at the end of the 2011–12 season: (Previous season (2010–11) rank in italics)
- (1) Barclays Premier League
- (2) Liga BBVA
- (4) 1. Bundesliga
- (3) Serie A TIM
- (6) Liga ZON Sagres
- (5) Ligue 1
- (6) SOGAZ Russian Football Championship
- (7) Premyer-Liha
- (10) Eredivisie
- (11) Spor Toto Süper Lig
- (12) Superleague Greece
- (14) Jupiler Pro League
- (15) Danish Superliga
- (8) Liga I Bergenbier
- (16) Clydesdale Bank Premier League
(see UEFA coefficients full list for more information)
International honours won by Primeira Liga players
Since the beginning of the league, there are three clubs with an attendance much higher than the others: Benfica, Porto and Sporting CP. They have also the biggest stadiums in Portugal, with more than 50,000 seats. Other clubs, such as Vitória de Guimarães and Sporting de Braga, also have good attendances. Académica de Coimbra, Vitória de Setúbal, Boavista, Belenenses, and Marítimo are historical clubs, from the biggest Portuguese cities, and have also many supporters. However, they do not have big attendances nowadays. Their stadiums have between 10,000 and 30,000 seats.
The 2011–12 season saw an average attendance by club:
|1||Benfica||42,464||65,647||65.00%||722,506||Estádio da Luz (Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica)|
|2||Porto||35,176||50,399||69.39%||527,800||Estádio do Dragão|
|3||Sporting CP||24,857||50,049||49.67%||372,864||Estádio José Alvalade – Século XXI|
|4||Sporting de Braga||15,169||30,286||47.91%||217,630||Estádio AXA (Estádio Municipal de Braga)|
|5||Vitória de Guimarães||13,949||30,000||46.71%||209,235||Estádio D. Afonso Henriques|
|6||Académica Coimbra||4,558||30,000||15.39%||68,375||Estádio Cidade de Coimbra|
|7||Beira-Mar||4,028||30,127||12.95%||60,433||Estádio Municipal de Aveiro|
|8||Vitória de Setúbal||3,920||18,694||25.30%||58,813||Estádio do Bonfim|
|9||Marítimo||3,439||9,177||77.58%||51,586||Estádio dos Barreiros|
|10||Moreirense||1,543||6,151||25.33%||23,144||Parque de Jogos Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas|
|11||Olhanense||3,194||10,080||42.00%||47,914||Estádio José Arcanjo|
|12||Gil Vicente||5,006||12,500||42.00%||92,189||Estádio Cidade de Barcelos|
|13||Rio Ave||2,391||12,820||22.11%||35,865||Estádio do Rio Ave FC|
|14||Nacional||2,083||5,132||40.52%||31,251||Estádio da Madeira|
|15||Paços de Ferreira||2,040||5,172||44.68%||28,952||Estádio da Mata Real|
|16||Estoril Praia||1,175||5,000||24.00%||17,628||Estádio António Coimbra da Mota|
List of champions and top scorers
- (1) Porto saw six points subtracted in the Apito Dourado bribery allegations, reducing their 20-point lead (total 75 points) to 14. But on May 2011, the Central Administrative Court of the South of Portugal ruled that decision, taken in 2008 on a controversial meeting made by the Justice Council of the Portuguese Football Federation, as being "inexistent". The Portuguese Football Federation has announced it would appeal from this decision the Administrative Supreme Court.
Performance by club
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning Years and Runner-Up Years|
|Benfica||32||27||1936, 1937, 1938, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Porto||27||24||1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1951, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Sporting CP||18||19||1935, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009|
||1937, 1946, 1955, 1973|
||1976, 1999, 2001, 2002|
|Académica de Coimbra||–||
|Vitória de Setúbal||–||
Primeira Liga All-Time Ranking
- Last updated following the 2012–13 season
|#||Club||Seasons||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points||Goals for||Goals against||Goal difference||First season||Last season||Best classification||Notes|
|1||Benfica||80||2198||1483||423||292||4872||5322||1987||3334||1935||2014||1st (32 titles)|
|2||Porto||80||2198||1448||402||348||4745||4890||2017||2883||1935||2014||1st (27 titles)|
|3||Sporting CP||80||2198||1346||462||390||4500||4842||2121||2721||1935||2014||1st (18 titles)|
|4||Belenenses||73||1980||831||475||674||2968||3195||2520||675||1935||2014||1st (1 title)|
|5||Vitória de Guimarães||69||1988||770||472||746||2782||2817||2844||-27||1942||2014||3rd|
|6||Vitória de Setúbal||66||1838||639||434||765||2351||2567||2779||-212||1935||2014||2nd|
|8||Boavista||51||1534||603||385||546||2194||2084||2131||-47||1936||2008||1st (1 title)|
|9||Académica de Coimbra||62||1606||498||350||758||1844||2264||2851||-597||1935||2014||2nd|
|13||Salgueiros||24||740||197||183||360||774||804||1377||-573||1944||2002||5th||Ended football team in 2005.|
|14||CUF Barreiro||23||610||207||148||255||769||829||1004||-175||1943||1976||3rd||Renamed GD Fabril in 2000.|
|16||União de Leiria||18||584||184||159||241||711||620||771||-151||1980||2012||5th|
|23||Estrela da Amadora||16||540||144||176||220||608||521||680||-159||1989||2009||7th||Ended football team in 2010.|
|25||Paços de Ferreira||16||482||147||143||192||584||499||616||-117||1992||2014||3rd|
|29||Sporting da Covilhã||15||406||126||79||201||457||585||834||-249||1949||1988||5th|
|31||Lusitano de Évora||14||364||116||64||184||412||494||722||-228||1953||1966||5th||Ended football team in 2011.|
|32||Sporting de Espinho||11||354||96||91||167||379||336||523||-187||1975||1997||7th|
|39||União da Madeira||5||174||41||54||79||177||150||250||-100||1990||1995||10th|
|41||União de Tomar||6||172||43||33||96||162||178||331||-153||1969||1976||10th|
|45||Académico de Viseu||4||128||27||24||77||105||81||237||-156||1979||1989||13th|
|48||Montijo||3||90||23||20||47||89||91||155||-64||1973||1977||13th||Folded in 2007.|
|51||Desportivo de Aves||3||90||16||25||53||73||78||152||-74||1986||2007||13th|
|54||Carcavelinhos||5||82||19||12||51||69||103||223||-120||1936||1942||4th||Merged to form Atlético in 1942.|
|55||Unidos de Lisboa||3||54||18||8||28||62||135||158||-23||1941||1943||4th||Ended football team in 2009.|
|56||Académico do Porto||5||82||18||6||56||60||137||300||-163||1935||1942||7th||Ended football team in 1964.|
|57||SL Elvas||2||48||17||3||28||54||108||167||-59||1946||1947||9th||Merged to form O Elvas in 1947.|
|59||Felgueiras||1||34||8||9||17||33||29||47||-18||1996||1996||16th||Ended football team in 2005.|
|60||Seixal||2||52||7||8||37||29||44||150||-106||1964||1965||12th||Ended football team in 2007.|
|61||Riopele||1||30||6||9||15||27||23||51||-28||1978||1978||15th||Folded in 1984.|
|64||União de Coimbra||1||30||5||7||18||22||22||54||-32||1973||1973||15th|
|67||União de Lisboa||1||14||3||2||9||11||30||49||-19||1935||1935||6th||Merged to form Atlético in 1942.|
The clubs highlighted in green play in the Primeira Liga in the 2013–14 season. The clubs highlighted in red play in the Segunda Liga in the 2013–14 season. The clubs highlighted in grey no longer exist because they have been disestablished or have been merged into another club. Remaining clubs play in lower competitions. A win is worth three points for all clubs.
Top Ten Goalscorers
|1||Fernando Peyroteo||1937–1950||Sporting CP, Belenenses||331 (1.68/game)|
|2||Eusébio||1960–1977||Benfica, Beira-Mar||319 (1.02/game)|
|3||Fernando Gomes||1974–1991||Porto, Sporting CP||318 (0.79/game)|
|4||José Águas||1950–1963||Benfica||290 (1.03/game)|
|6||Manuel Fernandes||1970–1988||CUF, Sporting CP, Vitória de Setúbal||243 (0.50/game)|
|7||Matateu||1951–1967||Belenenses, Atlético de Lisboa||218 (0.75/game)|
|8||José Torres||1959–1980||Benfica, Vitória de Setúbal, Estoril-Praia||217 (0.57/game)|
|9||Rui Jordão||1971–1989||Benfica, Sporting CP, Vitória de Setúbal||215 (0.60/game)|
|10||Arsénio Duarte||1943–1959||Benfica, CUF||211 (0.67/game)|
- In 1972–73, Benfica won the Portuguese Liga without defeat, with 58 points in 30 games (28 wins and 2 draws), the most ever obtained (96.7% efficiency) where victory was awarded 2 points. This season Benfica set the Portuguese league and European leagues record for most consecutive victories (23). Benfica also set the league record for greatest margin of victory in points over the second-placed team (18 points) in a 2 points per win championship.
- In 1977–78, Benfica completed the Portuguese Liga unbeaten for the second time (21 wins and 9 draws).
- In 2010–11, Porto won the Portuguese Liga without defeat, with 84 points in 30 games (27 wins and 3 draws), the most ever obtained (93.3% efficiency) where victory was awarded 3 points. This season Porto also set the league record for greatest margin of victory in points over the second-placed team (21 points) in a 3 points per win championship.
- In 2012–13, Porto won the Portuguese Liga unbeaten for the second time (24 wins and 6 draws).
- LPFP Primeira Liga Player of the Year
- Portuguese Golden Ball
- SJPF Player of the Month
- SJPF Young Player of the Month
- CNID Footballer of the Year
- List of Primeira Liga hat-tricks
- List of sports attendance figures
- Bota de Prata
- List of football clubs in Portugal by major honours won
- List of association football competitions in Portugal
- "UEFA Country Ranking 1990". Bert Kassies. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Current Ranking – IFFHS". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
-  Belgacom
-  BandSports
-  Sportitalia
- "Painel de espectadores por clube e por jornada da Bwin Liga, da Liga Vitalis e da Carlsberg Cup". Lpfp.pt. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
- Official webpage (Portuguese)
- League at UEFA
- Official regulation (Portuguese)
- Official statistics (Portuguese)
- Resultados Ao Vivo, proximos jogos ao vivo, posicoes de Liga Sagres (Portuguese)
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