2018–19 La Liga
The 2018–19 La Liga season, also known as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons, was the 88th since its establishment. The season began on 17 August 2018 and finished on 26 May 2019. Fixtures for the 2018–19 season were announced on 24 July 2018. This was the first La Liga season using VAR.
|Dates||17 August 2018 – 26 May 2019|
|Goals scored||983 (2.59 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Lionel Messi|
|Best goalkeeper||Jan Oblak|
|Biggest home win||Barcelona 8–2 Huesca|
(2 September 2018)
|Biggest away win||Levante 0–5 Barcelona|
(16 December 2018)
|Highest scoring||Barcelona 8–2 Huesca|
(2 September 2018)
|Longest winning run||8 matches|
|Longest unbeaten run||23 matches|
|Longest winless run||16 matches|
|Longest losing run||7 matches|
Barcelona 5–1 Real Madrid
(28 October 2018)
Eibar 3–0 Espanyol
(21 January 2019)
|Attendance||10,234,693 (26,933 per match)|
Barcelona were the defending champions after winning La Liga last season for the 25th time. 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. Barcelona were crowned as league winners for the second season in a row on the 28 April, after defeating Levante 1–0 with 3 games to spare.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Teams
- 3 League table
- 4 Season statistics
- 5 Average attendances
- 6 LFP Awards
- 7 Number of teams by autonomous community
- 8 References
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. Other incomers included Pablo Machín at Sevilla, who was hired after his success with newly promoted Girona the previous season.
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. 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. Defending champions Barcelona added Clément Lenglet to their defence, Arturo Vidal to midfield, and spent over €40 million on Brazilian forward Malcom. Players exiting Barcelona included Andrés Iniesta at the end of a successful 16-year-spell, as he signed for Vissel Kobe in Japan.
Veterans Gabi and Fernando Torres also left Atlético Madrid for new teams in Asia, while the same club welcomed in the likes of World Cup-winning French midfielder Thomas Lemar and Portugal's Gelson Martins. 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. Athletic Bilbao sold Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea for €80 million, a world record fee for a goalkeeper.
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, and led to the dismissal of Lopetegui after only five months. Other early pace-setters included Sevilla with their prolific strike partnership of André Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder, Alavés who were briefly league leaders in mid-October, Espanyol, and Valladolid who had been taken over by former Brazil international Ronaldo.
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 last team to be relegated were Deportivo La Coruña, following a 2−4 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.
- Teams promoted from Segunda Division
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.
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
|Athletic Bilbao||Bilbao||San Mamés||53,000|
|Atlético Madrid||Madrid||Wanda Metropolitano||68,000|
|Espanyol||Cornellà de Llobregat||RCDE Stadium||40,000|
|Getafe||Getafe||Coliseum Alfonso Pérez||17,000|
|Levante||Valencia||Ciutat de València||26,354|
|Real Betis||Seville||Benito Villamarín||60,721|
|Real Madrid||Madrid||Santiago Bernabéu||81,044|
|Real Sociedad||San Sebastián||Anoeta||32,000|
|Sevilla||Seville||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán||43,883|
|Villarreal||Villarreal||Estadio de la Cerámica||23,500|
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. 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. On 21 September 2018, the Spanish Football Federation denied approval of the match being held in Miami. 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". On 13 December 2018, Barcelona left their disposition to play the match in Miami without effect.
Personnel and sponsorshipEdit
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of
|Date of vacancy||Position in table||Incoming manager||Date of|
|Celta Vigo||Juan Carlos Unzué||Sacked||21 May 2018||Pre-season||Antonio Mohamed||22 May 2018|
|Girona||Pablo Machín||Signed for Sevilla||28 May 2018||Eusebio Sacristán||7 June 2018|
|Real Madrid||Zinedine Zidane||Resigned||31 May 2018||Julen Lopetegui||12 June 2018|
|Real Sociedad||Imanol Alguacil||End of contract||30 June 2018||Asier Garitano||24 May 2018|
|Huesca||Rubi||30 June 2018||Leo Franco||28 May 2018|
|Sevilla||Joaquín Caparrós||End of caretaker spell||30 June 2018||Pablo Machín||28 May 2018|
|Espanyol||David Gallego||30 June 2018||Rubi||3 June 2018|
|Leganés||Asier Garitano||Signed for Real Sociedad||30 June 2018||Mauricio Pellegrino||2 June 2018|
|Athletic Bilbao||José Ángel Ziganda||Mutual consent||30 June 2018||Eduardo Berizzo||31 May 2018|
|Huesca||Leo Franco||Sacked||9 October 2018||20th||Francisco||10 October 2018|
|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|
|Real Sociedad||Asier Garitano||26 December 2018||15th||Imanol Alguacil||26 December 2018|
|Villarreal||Luis García||29 January 2019||19th||Javier Calleja||29 January 2019|
|Celta Vigo||Miguel Cardoso||3 March 2019||17th||Fran Escribá||3 March 2019|
|Real Madrid||Santiago Solari||11 March 2019||3rd||Zinedine Zidane||11 March 2019|
|Sevilla||Pablo Machín||15 March 2019||6th||Joaquín Caparrós||15 March 2019|
|Rayo Vallecano||Míchel||18 March 2019||19th||Paco Jémez||20 March 2019|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Barcelona (C)||38||26||9||3||90||36||+54||87||Qualification for the Champions League group stage|
|5||Getafe||38||15||14||9||48||35||+13||59[a]||Qualification for the Europa League group stage[b]|
|7||Espanyol||38||14||11||13||48||50||−2||53[c]||Qualification for the Europa League second qualifying round[b]|
|18||Girona (R)||38||9||10||19||37||53||−16||37||Relegation to the Segunda División|
|20||Rayo Vallecano (R)||38||8||8||22||41||70||−29||32|
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)
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
- Getafe finished ahead of Sevilla on head-to-head points: Sevilla 0–2 Getafe, Getafe 3–0 Sevilla.
- Since the winners of the 2018–19 Copa del Rey, Valencia, qualified for European competition based on league position, the spot awarded to the cup winners (Europa League group stage) was passed to the sixth-placed team and the spot awarded to the sixth-placed team (Europa League second qualifying round) was passed to the seventh-placed team.
- Espanyol finished ahead of Athletic Bilbao on head-to-head points: Espanyol 1–0 Athletic Bilbao, Athletic Bilbao 1–1 Espanyol.
- Real Sociedad finished ahead of Real Betis and Alavés on head-to-head points: Real Sociedad 6, Real Betis 5, Alavés 5. Real Betis finished ahead of Alavés on goal difference: Real Betis –8, Alavés –11.
- Villarreal finished ahead of Levante on head-to-head points: Villarreal 1–1 Levante, Levante 0–2 Villarreal.
- Valladolid finished ahead of Celta Vigo on head-to-head points: Celta Vigo 3–3 Valladolid, Valladolid 2–1 Celta Vigo.
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.
|Leader and UEFA Champions League group stage|
|UEFA Champions League Group stage|
|UEFA Europa League Group stage|
|UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round|
|Relegation to Segunda División|
|Home \ Away||ALA||ATH||ATM||BAR||CEL||EIB||ESP||GET||GIR||HUE||LEG||LEV||RAY||BET||RMA||RSO||SEV||VAL||VLD||VIL|
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
- First goal of the season:
Roger Martí for Levante against Real Betis (17 August 2018)
- Last goal of the season:
Pablo de Blasis for Eibar against Barcelona (19 May 2019)
|2||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||21|
|4||Iago Aspas||Celta Vigo||20|
|6||Wissam Ben Yedder||Sevilla||18|
|8||Antoine Griezmann||Atlético Madrid||15|
|Raúl de Tomás||Rayo Vallecano|
|5||Wissam Ben Yedder||Sevilla||9|
|Antoine Griezmann||Atlético Madrid|
|Brais Méndez||Celta Vigo|
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.
|1||Jan Oblak||Atlético Madrid||27||37||0.73|
|2||Marc-André ter Stegen||Barcelona||32||35||0.91|
|5||Iago Herrerín||Athletic Bilbao||32||31||1.03|
|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|
|Lionel Messi||Barcelona||Levante||5–0 (A)||16 December 2018||16|
|Raúl de Tomás||Rayo Vallecano||Celta Vigo||4–2 (H)||11 January 2019||19|
|Youssef En-Nesyri||Leganés||Real Betis||3–0 (H)||10 February 2019||23|
|Lionel Messi||Barcelona||Sevilla||4–2 (A)||23 February 2019||25|
|Wissam Ben Yedder||Sevilla||Real Sociedad||5–2 (H)||10 March 2019||27|
|Lionel Messi||Barcelona||Real Betis||4–1 (A)||17 March 2019||28|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||Athletic Bilbao||3–0 (H)||21 April 2019||33|
(H) – Home ; (A) – Away
- Most yellow cards: 17
- Most red cards: 2
- Most yellow cards: 121
- Athletic Bilbao
- Most red cards: 8
- Rayo Vallecano
- Fewest yellow cards: 77
- Fewest red cards: 0
Source: World Football
1: Team played last season in Segunda División.
|Month||Player of the Month||Reference|
|December||Antoine Griezmann||Atlético Madrid|||
|January||Iñaki Williams||Athletic Bilbao|||
|April||Iago Aspas||Celta Vigo|||
Number of teams by autonomous communityEdit
|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|
|Castile and Leon||Valladolid|
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