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The 2018–19 La Liga season, also known as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons,[2] is the 88th since its establishment. The season began on 17 August 2018 and is scheduled to finish on 26 May 2019.[3] Fixtures for the 2018–19 season were announced on 24 July 2018.[4] This is the first La Liga season using VAR.[5]

La Liga
Season2018–19
Dates17 August 2018 – 26 May 2019
Matches played150
Goals scored385 (2.57 per match)
Top goalscorerLionel Messi
Cristhian Stuani
(11 goals each)
Biggest home winBarcelona 8–2 Huesca
(2 September 2018)
Biggest away winRayo Vallecano 1–5 Alavés
(22 September 2018)
Levante 2–6 Sevilla
(23 September 2018)
Espanyol 0–4 Barcelona
(8 December 2018)
Highest scoringBarcelona 8–2 Huesca
(2 September 2018)
Longest winning run4 matches[1]
Barcelona
Levante
Longest unbeaten run9 matches[1]
Atlético Madrid
Longest winless run11 matches[1]
Athletic Bilbao
Longest losing run4 matches[1]
Huesca
Highest attendance93,265
Barcelona 5–1 Real Madrid
(28 October 2018)
[1]
Lowest attendance4,209
Eibar 1–2 Huesca
(19 August 2018)
[1]
Total attendance3,332,214[1]
Average attendance27,768[1]
2019–20
All statistics correct as of 11 November 2018.

Barcelona are the defending champions. Huesca, Rayo Vallecano and Valladolid join as the promoted clubs from the 2017–18 Segunda División. They replaced Málaga, Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruña who were relegated to the 2018–19 Segunda División.

Contents

SummaryEdit

Several clubs made managerial changes before the start of the season. Among them were Real Madrid, when Zinedine Zidane resigned following the club's third consecutive UEFA Champions League victory. He was replaced by Julen Lopetegui, who was managing the Spanish national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at the time of announcement and was dismissed from that job as a result.[6] Other incomers included Pablo Machín at Sevilla, who was hired after his success with newly promoted Girona the previous season.[7]

In the transfer window, the biggest deal saw Real Madrid lose Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus for a fee of €112 million; the Portuguese forward had scored 450 goals in 438 games during his nine years in the Spanish capital.[8] Real Madrid's additions included Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for €35 million from Chelsea, and striker Mariano returned to the club from Lyon for €22 million.[9][10] Defending champions Barcelona added Clément Lenglet to their defence, Arturo Vidal to midfield, and spent over €40 million on Brazilian forward Malcom.[11] Players exiting Barcelona included Andrés Iniesta at the end of a successful 16-year-spell, as he signed for Vissel Kobe in Japan.[12]

Veterans Gabi and Fernando Torres also left Atlético Madrid for new teams in Asia,[13] while the same club welcomed in the likes of World Cup-winning French midfielder Thomas Lemar and Portugal's Gelson Martins.[14] After a successful previous season, in which the team finished fourth and returned to the Champions League, Valencia made permanent the loan signing of Portuguese winger Gonçalo Guedes from Paris Saint-Germain. Forward Simone Zaza and midfielder João Cancelo both left to Italy, while Kevin Gameiro and Geoffrey Kondogbia arrived as replacements.[15] Athletic Bilbao sold Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea for €80 million, a world record fee for a goalkeeper.[16]

The tenth round of matches featured the first El Clásico of the season, which Barcelona won 5–1 at home against Real Madrid with a hat-trick by Luis Suárez. The result put Madrid into 9th place,[17] and led to the dismissal of Lopetegui after only five months.[18] Other early pace-setters included Sevilla with their prolific strike partnership of André Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder,[19] Alavés who were briefly league leaders in mid-October,[20] Espanyol, and Valladolid who had been taken over by former Brazil international Ronaldo.[21]

TeamsEdit

Promotion and relegation (pre-season)Edit

A total of 20 teams will contest the league, including 17 sides from the 2017–18 season and three promoted from the 2017–18 Segunda División. This will include the two top teams from the Segunda División, and the winners of the play-offs.

Teams relegated to Segunda Division

The first team to be relegated from La Liga were Málaga. Their relegation was ensured on 19 April 2018, following a late 1−0 defeat to Levante, ending their 10-year spell in the top division.[22]

The second team to be relegated were Las Palmas, after a 4−0 home defeat to Deportivo Alavés on 22 April 2018, ending their three-year spell in the league.[23]

The last team to be relegated were Deportivo La Coruña, following a 4−2 home loss to Barcelona on 29 April 2018. This result ensured Deportivo's third relegation in seven years, and also handed Barcelona their 25th La Liga title.[24]

Teams promoted from Segunda Division

On 21 May 2018, Huesca were promoted to La Liga for the first time ever by winning 2–0 at Lugo.

Rayo Vallecano was the second team to earn promotion to La Liga on 27 May 2018 by winning against Lugo as well, this time 1–0. Rayo returns after a two-year absence.

Real Valladolid was the last team to be promoted after beating Sporting Gijón and Numancia in the play-offs. Valladolid returned to top division after 4 years.

This was the first season since the 2014–15 season without any teams from the archipelagos of Spain (teams located on the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands) since Las Palmas was relegated and Tenerife failed to qualify for the promotion play-offs.

Stadia and locationsEdit

Location of Community of Madrid teams in 2018–19 La Liga

Celta signed a sponsorship contract with Abanca to rename their stadium as Abanca-Balaídos.[25]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Alavés Vitoria-Gasteiz Mendizorrotza 19,840[26]
Athletic Bilbao Bilbao San Mamés 53,000[27]
Atlético Madrid Madrid Wanda Metropolitano 68,000[28]
Barcelona Barcelona Camp Nou 99,354[29]
Celta Vigo Vigo Abanca-Balaídos 29,000[30]
Eibar Eibar Ipurua 7,083[31]
Espanyol Barcelona RCDE Stadium 40,000[32]
Getafe Getafe Coliseum Alfonso Pérez 17,000[33]
Girona Girona Montilivi 13,500[34]
Huesca Huesca El Alcoraz 7,638[35]
Leganés Leganés Butarque 12,450[36]
Levante Valencia Ciutat de València 26,354[37]
Rayo Vallecano Madrid Vallecas 14,708[38]
Real Betis Seville Benito Villamarín 60,721[39]
Real Madrid Madrid Santiago Bernabéu 81,044[40]
Real Sociedad San Sebastián Anoeta 32,000[41]
Sevilla Seville Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán 42,714[42]
Valencia Valencia Mestalla 49,500[43]
Valladolid Valladolid José Zorrilla 26,512[44]
Villarreal Villarreal Estadio de la Cerámica 23,500[45]

Matches outside SpainEdit

On 16 August 2018, La Liga signed a 15-year agreement with Relevent Sports (owners of the International Champions Cup) to schedule one match per season within the United States. This would mark the first time ever that an official La Liga league match would be held there.[46][47] The match between Girona and Barcelona, to be played on 27 January 2019, was selected to be played in Miami, but it required the approval of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.[48] On 21 September 2018, the Spanish Football Federation denied approval of the match being held in Miami.[49] On 26 October 2018, following a request for guidance from the Spanish Football Federation, US Soccer and CONCACAF, the FIFA Council discussed La Liga’s proposal. At the end of the meeting, the FIFA Council stated that "Consistent with the opinion expressed by the Football Stakeholders Committee, the Council emphasised the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association".[50] On 13 December 2019, Barcelona left their disposition to play the match in Miami without effect.[51]

Personnel and sponsorshipEdit

Team Manager[52] Captain[53] Kit manufacturer[54] Shirt sponsor[54]
Alavés   Abelardo Fernández   Manu García Kelme Betway, LEA,1 Araba-Álava,2 Integra Energía,3 Euskaltel3
Athletic Bilbao   Gaizka Garitano   Markel Susaeta New Balance Kutxabank
Atlético Madrid   Diego Simeone   Diego Godín Nike Plus500, Hyundai2
Barcelona   Ernesto Valverde   Lionel Messi Nike Rakuten, UNICEF,1 Beko2
Celta Vigo   Miguel Cardoso   Hugo Mallo Adidas Estrella Galicia 0,0, Abanca,1 Grupo Recalvi3
Eibar   José Luis Mendilibar   Asier Riesgo Puma AVIA, HiKOKI2
Espanyol   Rubi   Javi López Kelme Riviera Maya, InnJoo1
Getafe   José Bordalás   Jorge Molina Joma Tecnocasa Group, Granitos Buenavista1
Girona   Eusebio Sacristán   Álex Granell Umbro Marathonbet, Costa Brava2
Huesca   Francisco   Juanjo Camacho Kelme Huesca La Magia, DISA,1 Bodega Sommos,1 Grupo Cosehisa,2 El Dorado,3 Ambar3
Leganés   Mauricio Pellegrino   Alexander Szymanowski Joma Betway, Sambil Outlet Madrid,2 BeSoccer3
Levante   Paco López   Pedro López Macron Betway, Baleària1
Rayo Vallecano   Míchel   Alberto García Kelme Creditea1
Real Betis   Quique Setién   Joaquín Kappa Greenearth, Reale Seguros,2 BeSoccer3
Real Madrid   Santiago Solari   Sergio Ramos Adidas Emirates
Real Sociedad   Asier Garitano   Asier Illarramendi Macron Kutxabank,1 Reale Seguros2
Sevilla   Pablo Machín   Jesús Navas Nike Playtika, Betfair2
Valencia   Marcelino   Daniel Parejo Adidas BLU, beIN Sports,1 Sesderma,2 Alfa Romeo3
Valladolid   Sergio González   Javi Moyano Hummel Cuatro Rayas, Valladolid Ciudad Amiga3
Villarreal   Luis García   Bruno Joma Pamesa Cerámica, Endavant2
1. ^ On the back of shirt.
2. ^ On the sleeves.
3. ^ On the shorts.

Managerial changesEdit

Team Outgoing manager Manner of
departure
Date of vacancy Position in table Incoming manager Date of
appointment
Celta Vigo   Juan Carlos Unzué Sacked 21 May 2018[55] Pre-season   Antonio Mohamed 22 May 2018[56]
Girona   Pablo Machín Signed for Sevilla 28 May 2018[57]   Eusebio Sacristán 7 June 2018[58]
Real Madrid   Zinedine Zidane Resigned 31 May 2018[59]   Julen Lopetegui 12 June 2018[60]
Real Sociedad   Imanol Alguacil End of contract 30 June 2018[61]   Asier Garitano 24 May 2018[62]
Huesca   Rubi 30 June 2018[63]   Leo Franco 28 May 2018[64]
Sevilla   Joaquín Caparrós End of caretaker spell 30 June 2018[65]   Pablo Machín 28 May 2018[66]
Espanyol   David Gallego 30 June 2018[67]   Rubi 3 June 2018[68]
Leganés   Asier Garitano Signed for Real Sociedad 30 June 2018[69]   Mauricio Pellegrino 2 June 2018[70]
Athletic Bilbao   José Ángel Ziganda Mutual consent 30 June 2018[71]   Eduardo Berizzo 31 May 2018[72]
Huesca   Leo Franco Sacked 9 October 2018 20th   Francisco 10 October 2018[73]
Real Madrid   Julen Lopetegui 29 October 2018 9th   Santiago Solari 30 October 2018
Celta Vigo   Antonio Mohamed 12 November 2018 14th   Miguel Cardoso 12 November 2018
Athletic Bilbao   Eduardo Berizzo 4 December 2018 18th   Gaizka Garitano 4 December 2018
Villarreal   Javier Calleja 10 December 2018 17th   Luis García 10 December 2018

League tableEdit

StandingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Barcelona 15 9 4 2 41 19 +22 31 Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Atlético Madrid 16 8 7 1 24 12 +12 31
3 Sevilla 15 8 4 3 27 16 +11 28
4 Real Madrid 15 8 2 5 23 19 +4 26
5 Getafe 16 6 6 4 17 12 +5 24 Qualification for the Europa League group stage
6 Alavés 15 7 3 5 18 17 +1 24 Qualification for the Europa League second qualifying round
7 Levante 15 6 4 5 27 25 +2 22
8 Real Betis 15 6 4 5 16 17 −1 22
9 Celta Vigo 16 5 6 5 28 24 +4 21
10 Girona 15 5 6 4 17 17 0 21
11 Espanyol 15 6 3 6 17 20 −3 21
12 Valladolid 16 5 5 6 15 18 −3 20
13 Real Sociedad 16 5 4 7 18 19 −1 19
14 Eibar 15 5 4 6 19 23 −4 19
15 Valencia 15 3 9 3 12 12 0 18
16 Leganés 16 4 6 6 15 19 −4 18
17 Villarreal 15 3 5 7 15 19 −4 14
18 Athletic Bilbao 15 2 8 5 15 23 −8 14 Relegation to the Segunda División
19 Rayo Vallecano 15 2 4 9 15 30 −15 10
20 Huesca 15 1 4 10 12 30 −18 7
Updated to match(es) played on 15 December 2018. Source: La Liga, Soccerway
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head points; 3) Head-to-head goal difference; 4) Goal difference; 5) Goals scored; 6) Fair-play points (Note: Head-to-head record is used only after all the matches between the teams in question have been played)[74]

Positions by roundEdit

The table lists the positions of teams after each week of matches.
In order to preserve chronological evolvements, any postponed matches are not included to the round at which they were originally scheduled, but added to the full round they were played immediately afterwards.

Team ╲ Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
Barcelona221111121111211
Sevilla1351275314332122
Atlético Madrid8910953435443333
Real Madrid412222247966654
Alavés191711734663254445
Levante310411161716118778966
Espanyol20181310138581113141214117
Girona1711951011913988111298
Getafe121612661211151511109789
Real Sociedad10474867525255710
Real Betis98334781013101114151311
Eibar1314161918141076697131512
Celta Vigo778139101391012131081013
Valencia141915151113171212151213101214
Valladolid111517171516141414141515111415
Leganés151219202018201818181818171616
Villarreal16131814149121616171616161717
Athletic Bilbao55681215151717161717181818
Rayo Vallecano182020181919181919191919191919
Huesca6614161720192020202020202020
Leader
UEFA Champions League Group stage
UEFA Europa League Group stage
UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round
Relegation to Segunda División
Source: BDFutbol.com

ResultsEdit

Home \ Away ALA ATH ATM BAR CEL EIB ESP GET GIR HUE LEG LEV RAY BET RMA RSO SEV VAL VLD VIL
Alavés 2–1 1–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–1 2–1
Athletic Bilbao a 1–1 1–0 2–2 2–1 1–1 1–3 0–0 0–3
Atlético Madrid 3–0 3–2 1–1 1–1 3–0 1–0 1–0 a 2–0
Barcelona 3–0 1–1 a 2–2 8–2 3–4 5–1 4–2 2–0
Celta Vigo 0–1 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–0 2–4 3–3
Eibar 2–1 1–1 1–2 1–0 4–4 3–0 2–1 1–3
Espanyol 1–0 0–4 1–0 1–3 1–0 2–0 3–1
Getafe 0–2 2–0 3–0 a 0–1 2–0 1–0 0–1 0–0
Girona 1–1 3–2 2–3 0–0 2–1 0–1 1–4 0–0
Huesca 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–1 0–1 0–1
Leganés 1–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 1–0 2–2 0–1
Levante 2–1 3–0 1–2 2–0 1–3 2–6 2–2
Rayo Vallecano 1–5 1–1 2–3 1–0 2–2 1–2 1–4 2–2
Real Betis 2–2 3–3 1–0 0–3 2–0 1–0 1–0 0–1
Real Madrid a 0–0 a 1–0 2–0 4–1 1–2 2–0 2–0
Real Sociedad a 1–2 2–1 0–0 2–2 0–0 0–1 1–2
Sevilla 2–1 2–1 0–2 2–1 a 3–0 1–0 0–0
Valencia 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–1 1–1 a 3–0 0–0 1–1 a
Valladolid 0–1 2–3 0–1 0–0 1–1 1–0 2–4 2–1
Villarreal 1–1 2–3 0–1 1–1 2–1 1–2 0–0 0–1
Updated to match(es) played on 15 December 2018. Source: La Liga
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Season statisticsEdit

ScoringEdit

Top goalscorersEdit

As of 8 December 2018[76]
Rank Player Club Goals
1   Lionel Messi Barcelona 11
  Cristhian Stuani Girona
3   Iago Aspas Celta Vigo 10
  Luis Suárez Barcelona
5   Borja Iglesias Espanyol 8
  André Silva Sevilla
  Maxi Gómez Celta Vigo
  Roger Martí Levante
9   Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla 7
10   Ousmane Dembélé Barcelona 6

Top assistsEdit

As of 10 December 2018[77]
Rank Player Club Assists
1   Lionel Messi Barcelona 8
2   Pablo Sarabia Sevilla 6
3   Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid 5
  Jony Alavés
  Brais Méndez Celta de Vigo
6   Jesús Navas Sevilla 4
  Santi Cazorla Villarreal
  Luis Suárez Barcelona
  Sergi Roberto Barcelona
  Cristian Tello Real Betis
  Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla
  Jason Levante
  Maxi Gómez Celta Vigo

Zamora TrophyEdit

The Zamora Trophy is awarded by newspaper Marca to the goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-games ratio. A goalkeeper has to have played at least 28 games of 60 or more minutes to be eligible for the trophy.[78]

As of 13 November 2018[79]
Rank Name Club Goals
against
Matches Average
1   Jan Oblak Atlético Madrid 8 12 0.67
2   Jordi Masip Valladolid 9 12 0.75
2   Diego López Espanyol 10 12 0.83
  David Soria Getafe
4   Sergio Asenjo Villarreal 13 12 1.08

Hat-tricksEdit

Player For Against Result Date Round
  André Silva Sevilla Rayo Vallecano 4–1 (A) 19 August 2018 1
  Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla Levante 6–2 (A) 23 September 2018 5
  Iago Aspas Celta Vigo Eibar 4–0 (H) 27 October 2018 10
  Luis Suárez Barcelona Real Madrid 5–1 (H) 28 October 2018 10
Note

(H) – Home ; (A) – Away

DisciplineEdit

As of 13 November 2018[80]
  • Most yellow cards (club): 41
    • Athletic Bilbao
  • Fewest yellow cards (club): 19
    • Barcelona
  • Most yellow cards (player): 7
  • Most red cards (club): 3
    • Getafe
    • Rayo Vallecano
  • Fewest red cards (club): 0
    • Espanyol
    • Huesca
    • Leganés
    • Real Betis
    • Real Madrid
    • Sevilla
    • Valladolid
  • Most red cards (player): 2

Average attendancesEdit

Pos Team Total High Low Average Change
1 Barcelona 608,168 90,985 52,356 76,021 +9.6%
2 Real Madrid 455,732 78,562 48,346 65,105 −0.8%
3 Atlético Madrid 458,385 66,908 47,109 57,298 +3.3%
4 Real Betis 367,594 52,819 40,218 45,949 −0.9%
5 Athletic Bilbao 322,407 46,860 34,060 40,301 +7.8%
6 Valencia 320,767 46,280 35,711 40,096 +3.6%
7 Sevilla 257,995 41,037 33,056 36,856 +11.5%
8 Real Sociedad 158,263 26,482 17,745 22,609 +14.8%
9 Levante 139,340 22,550 18,796 19,906 +12.6%
10 Espanyol 130,021 24,037 13,469 18,574 +5.2%
11 Valladolid 124,427 21,674 16,038 17,775 +52.1%1
12 Celta Vigo 148,019 21,184 13,463 16,447 +0.9%
13 Villarreal 130,718 17,969 15,452 16,340 −2.1%
14 Alavés 102,200 17,848 12,490 14,600 −6.3%
15 Rayo Vallecano 96,182 13,621 11,257 12,023 +28.0%1
16 Girona 83,113 13,383 6,482 10,389 +1.4%
17 Leganés 72,335 11,407 8,917 10,334 +10.7%
18 Getafe 78,988 12,458 7,600 9,874 −3.5%
19 Huesca 47,411 7,341 6,445 6,773 +61.7%1
20 Eibar 44,257 6,519 4,209 5,532 +3.9%
League total 4,146,322 90,985 4,209 27,278 +1.1%

Updated to games played on 15 December 2018
Source: World Football
Notes:
1: Team played last season in Segunda División.

LFP AwardsEdit

MonthlyEdit

Month Player of the Month Reference
Player Club
September   Lionel Messi Barcelona [81]
October   Luis Suárez Barcelona [82]
November   Tomáš Vaclík Sevilla [83]

Number of teams by autonomous communityEdit

Source:[84]

Autonomous Community Number of teams Teams
1   Community of Madrid 5 Atlético Madrid, Getafe, Leganés, Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid
2   Basque Country 4 Alavés, Athletic Bilbao, Eibar and Real Sociedad
3   Catalonia 3 Barcelona, Espanyol, and Girona
  Valencian Community Levante, Valencia, and Villarreal
5   Andalusia 2 Real Betis and Sevilla
6   Aragon 1 Huesca
  Castile and Leon Valladolid
  Galicia Celta Vigo

ReferencesEdit

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