La Liga

The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División,[a] commonly known as La Liga[b] (LaLiga Santander for sponsorship reasons with Santander),[2] is the men's top professional football division of the Spanish football league system.[3] Administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (English: National Professional Football League), also known as the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, and is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top two teams and a play-off winner in that division.

La Liga
La Liga.png
Organising bodyLiga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional
(La Liga)
Founded1929; 91 years ago (1929)
CountrySpain
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams20
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toSegunda División
Domestic cup(s)Copa del Rey
Supercopa de España
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsReal Madrid (34th title)
(2019–20)
Most championshipsReal Madrid (34 titles)
Most appearancesAndoni Zubizarreta
(622)
Top goalscorerLionel Messi
(445)
TV partnersList of broadcasters
Websitelaliga.es
2020–21 La Liga

A total of 62 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 34 times and FC Barcelona 26 times. During the 1940s Valencia, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona emerged as the strongest clubs, winning several titles. Real Madrid and Barcelona dominated the championship in the 1950s, each winning four La Liga titles during the decade. During the 1960s and 1970s Real Madrid dominated La Liga, winning 14 titles, with Atlético Madrid winning four.[4] During the 1980s and 1990s Real Madrid were prominent in La Liga, but the Basque clubs of Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad had their share of success, each winning two Liga titles. From the 1990s onward, Barcelona have dominated La Liga winning 16 titles up to date.[5] Although Real Madrid has been prominent, winning nine titles, La Liga has also seen other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña.

According to UEFA's league coefficient rankings, La Liga has been the top league in Europe in each of the seven years from 2013 to 2019 (calculated using accumulated figures from five preceding seasons), and has led Europe for 22 of the 60 ranked years up to 2019, more than any other country. It has also produced the continent's top-rated club more times (22) than any other league in that period, more than double that of second-placed Serie A (Italy), including the top club in 10 of the 11 seasons between 2009 and 2019; each of these pinnacles was achieved by either Barcelona or Real Madrid. La Liga clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League (18), UEFA Europa League (12), UEFA Super Cup (15), and FIFA Club World Cup (7) titles, and its players have accumulated the highest number of Ballon d'Or awards (23), The Best FIFA Men's Player awards including FIFA World Player of the Year (19), and UEFA Men's Player of the Year awards including UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (11).

La Liga is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world, with an average attendance of 26,933 for league matches in the 2018–19 season. This is the sixth-highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world and the third-highest of any professional association football league in the world, behind the Bundesliga and the Premier League.[6][7]

La Liga is the sixth wealthiest professional sport league after the NFL, the MLB, the NBA, the Premier League, and the NHL by revenue.[8]

Competition formatEdit

The competition format follows the usual double round-robin format. During the course of a season, which lasts from August to May, each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for 38 matchdays. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, with the highest-ranked club at the end of the season crowned champion.

Promotion and relegationEdit

A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Primera División and the Segunda División. The three lowest placed teams in La Liga are relegated to the Segunda División, and the top two teams from the Segunda División promoted to La Liga, with an additional club promoted after a series of play-offs involving the third, fourth, fifth and sixth placed clubs. Below is a complete record of how many teams played in each season throughout the league's history;

Number of clubs in La Liga throughout the years
Period (in years) No. of clubs
1929–1934 10 clubs
1934–1941 12 clubs
1941–1950 14 clubs
1950–1971 16 clubs
1971–1987 18 clubs
1987–1995 20 clubs
1995–1997 22 clubs
1997–present 20 clubs

Ranking of clubs on equal pointsEdit

If points are equal between two or more clubs, the rules are:[9]

  • If all clubs involved have played each other twice:
    • If the tie is between more than two clubs, then the tie is broken using the games the clubs have played against each other:
      • a) head-to-head points
      • b) head-to-head goal difference
      • c) total goal difference
  • If two legged games between all clubs involved have not been played, or the tie is not broken by the rules above, it is broken using:
    • a) total goal difference
    • b) total goals scored
  • If the tie is still not broken, the winner will be determined by Fair Play scales.[10] These are:
    • yellow card, 1 point
    • doubled yellow card/ejection, 2 points
    • direct red card, 3 points
    • suspension or disqualification of coach, executive or other club personnel (outside referees' decisions), 5 points
    • misconduct of the supporters: mild 5 points, serious 6 points, very serious 7 points
    • stadium closure, 10 points
    • if the Competition Committee removes a penalty, the points are also removed
  • If the tie is still not broken, it will be resolved with a tie-break match in a neutral stadium.

Qualification for European competitionsEdit

Current CriteriaEdit

The top four teams in La Liga qualify for the subsequent season's UEFA Champions League group stage. The winners of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League also qualify for the subsequent season's UEFA Champions League group stage. If this means 6 La Liga teams qualify, then the 4th place team in La Liga instead plays in the UEFA Europa League, as any single nation is limited to a maximum of 5 teams.

The 5th place team in La Liga qualifies for the subsequent season's UEFA Europa League group stage. The winner of the Copa del Rey also qualifies for the subsequent season's UEFA Europa League group stage, but if the winner also finished in the top 5 places in La Liga, then this place reverts to the team that finished 6th in La Liga. Furthermore, the 6th place (or 7th if 6th already qualifies) team qualifies for the subsequent season's UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.[11]

The number of places allocated to Spanish clubs in UEFA competitions is dependent upon the position a country holds in the UEFA country coefficients, which are calculated based upon the performance of teams in UEFA competitions in the previous 5 years. Currently the ranking of Spain (and de facto La Liga) is 1st.

Extracted from the 2019 ranking of nations by their UEFA coefficient[12]
Rank
2019
Rank
2018
Change League 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 Coefficient Places in UEFA Champions League Places in Europa League
GS PO Q3 Q2 Q1 PQ GS PO Q3 Q2 Q1 PQ
1 1 =   Spain 20.214 23.928 20.142 19.714 19.571 103.569 4 2 1
2 2 =   England 13.571 14.250 14.928 20.071 22.642 85.462 4 2 1
3 3 =   Italy 19.000 11.500 14.250 17.333 12.642 74.725 4 2 1
4 4 =   Germany 15.857 16.428 14.571 9.857 15.214 71.927 4 2 1
5 5 =   France 10.916 11.083 14.416 11.500 10.583 58.498 2 1 2 1
6 6 =   Russia 9.666 11.500 9.200 12.600 7.583 50.549 2 1 1 1 1
7 7 =   Portugal 9.083 10.500 8.083 9.666 10.900 48.232 1 1 1 1 1
8 8 =   Ukraine 10.000 9.800 5.500 8.000 7.800 39.900 1 1 1 1 1
9 9 =   Belgium 9.600 7.400 12.500 2.600 5.600 38.900 1 1 1 1 1
10 10 =   Turkey 6.000 6.600 9.700 6.800 5.500 34.600 1 1 1 1 1

HistoryEdit

FoundationEdit

In April 1928, José María Acha, a director at Arenas Club de Getxo, first proposed the idea of a national league in Spain. After much debate about the size of the league and who would take part, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol eventually agreed on the ten teams who would form the first Primera División in 1929. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo, and Real Unión were all selected as previous winners of the Copa del Rey. Atlético Madrid, Espanyol, and Europa qualified as Copa del Rey runners-up and Racing de Santander qualified through a knockout competition. Only three of the founding clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, have never been relegated from the Primera División.

1930s: Athletic Bilbao prominenceEdit

Although Barcelona won the very first Liga in 1929 and Real Madrid won their first titles in 1932 and 1933, it was Athletic Bilbao that set the early pace winning Primera División in 1930, 1931, 1934 and 1936. They were also runners-up in 1932 and 1933. In 1935, Real Betis, then known as Betis Balompié, won their only title to date. Primera División was suspended during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1937, the teams in the Republican area of Spain, with the notable exception of the two Madrid clubs, competed in the Mediterranean League and Barcelona emerged as champions. Seventy years later, on 28 September 2007, Barcelona requested the Royal Spanish Football Federation (Spanish acronym RFEF) to recognise that title as a Liga title. This action was taken after RFEF was asked to recognise Levante FC's Copa de la España Libre win as equivalent to Copa del Rey trophy. Nevertheless, the governing body of Spanish football has not made an outright decision yet.

1940s: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia emergeEdit

Results of the five champions during the post-war years
Season AVI BAR BIL SEV VAL
1939–40 1 9 3 2 8
1940–41 1 4 2 5 3
1941–42 3 12 7 6 1
1942–43 8 3 1 2 7
1943–44 2 6 10 3 1
1944–45 3 1 6 10 5
1945–46 7 2 3 1 6
1946–47 3 4 2 6 1
1947–48 3 1 6 5 2
1948–49 4 1 6 8 2
1949–50 1 5 6 10 3
TOTAL 3 3 1 1 3
Top three 8 4 5 4 7
     League champions
     Copa del Rey
     La Liga/Copa del Rey double

When the Primera División resumed after the Spanish Civil War, it was Atlético Aviación (nowadays Atlético Madrid), Valencia, and FC Barcelona that emerged as the strongest clubs. Atlético were only awarded a place during the 1939–40 season as a replacement for Real Oviedo, whose ground had been damaged during the war. The club subsequently won their first Liga title and retained it in 1941. While other clubs lost players to exile, execution, and as casualties of the war, the Atlético team was reinforced by a merger. The young, pre-war squad of Valencia had also remained intact and in the post-war years matured into champions, gaining three Liga titles in 1942, 1944, and 1947. They were also runners-up in 1948 and 1949. Sevilla also enjoyed a brief golden era, finishing as runners-up in 1940 and 1942 before winning their only title to date in 1946.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Spain, FC Barcelona began to emerge as a force under the legendary Josep Samitier. A Spanish footballer for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, Samitier cemented his legacy with Barcelona. During his playing career with them, he scored 333 goals, won the inaugural La Liga title and five Copa Del Rey. In 1944, Samitier returned to Barcelona as a coach and guided them in winning their second La Liga title in 1945. Under Samitier and legendary players Cesar Rodriguez, Josep Escola, Estanislau Basora and Mariano Gonzalvo, Barcelona dominated La Liga in the late 1940s,[13] winning back to back La Liga titles in 1948 and 1949. The 1940s proved to be a successful season for Barcelona, winning three La Liga titles and one Copa Del Rey, but the 1950s proved to be a decade of dominance, not just from Barcelona, but from Real Madrid.

1950s: Real Madrid take controlEdit

 
Naturalised Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano was part of a dominant Real Madrid side in the 1950s
 
During the 1950s, László Kubala was a leading member of Barcelona scoring 194 goals in 256 appearances.

Although Atlético Madrid, previously known as Atlético Aviación, were champions in 1950 and 1951 under catenaccio mastermind Helenio Herrera, the 1950s continued the success FC Barcelona had during the late 1940s after they had won back to back La Liga titles. During this decade, Barcelona's first golden era emerged. Under coach Ferdinand Daučík, FC Barcelona won back to back doubles, winning La Liga and Copa Del Rey in 1952 and 1953. In 1952, FC Barcelona made history yet again by winning five distinctive trophies in one year. This team, composed of László Kubala, Mariano Gonzalvo, Cesar Rodriguez and Joan Segarra won La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Copa Eva Duarte (predecessor of Spanish Super Cup), The Latin Cup and The Copa Martini Rossi. Their success in winning five trophies in one year earned them the name 'L’equip de les cinc Copes'[14] or The Team of The Five Cups. In the latter parts of the 1950s, coached by Helenio Herrera and featuring Luis Suárez, Barcelona won yet again their third set of back to back La Liga, winning them in 1959 and 1960. In 1959, FC Barcelona also won another double of La Liga / Copa Del Rey, conquering three doubles in the 1950s.

The 1950s also saw the beginning of the Real Madrid dominance. During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, there were strict limits imposed on foreign players. In most cases, clubs could only have three foreign players in their squads, meaning that at least eight local players had to play in every game. During the 1950s, however, these rules were circumvented by Real Madrid who naturalized Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás. Di Stéfano, Puskás, Raymond Kopa and Francisco Gento formed the nucleus of the Real Madrid team that dominated the second half of the 1950s. Real Madrid won their third La Liga in 1954, 21 years later since 1933, and retained its title in 1955. In 1956, Athletic Bilbao won their sixth La Liga title, but Real Madrid won La Liga again in 1957 and 1958. All in all, Barcelona and Real Madrid won 4 La Liga titles each, with Atletico Madrid winning two Ligas and Athletic Bilbao winning one during this decade.

1960s–1970s: Real Madrid SuperiorityEdit

Real Madrid dominated La Liga between 1960 and 1980, being crowned champions 14 times.[15] Real Madrid won five La Liga titles in a row from 1961-1965 as well as winning three doubles between 1960-1980. During the 1960s and 1970s, only Atlético Madrid offered Real Madrid any serious challenge. Atletico Madrid were crowned La Liga champions four times in 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1977. Atletico Madrid also finished second place in 1961, 1963 and 1965. In 1971, Valencia won their fourth La Liga title in 1971 under Alfredo di Stefano, and the Johan Cruyff-inspired Barcelona won their ninth La Liga in 1974.

1980s: Real Madrid and the Basque ClubsEdit

Real Madrid's monopoly in La Liga was interrupted significantly in the 1980s. Although Real Madrid won another five La Liga titles in a row from 1986-1990[16] under the brilliance of Emilio Butragueño and Hugo Sanchez, the Basque Clubs of Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao also dominated the 1980s.[17] Real Sociedad won back-to-back La Liga titles in 1981 and 1982, after leaving both Real Madrid and Barcelona as runner ups. Their title wins were followed by fellow Basque club Athletic Bilbao, who won back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984, with Athletic Bilbao winning their fifth La Liga and Copa Del Rey double in 1984. Barcelona won their tenth La Liga title in 1985 under coach Terry Venables, their first La Liga win since 1974.

1990s: Barcelona's Dream TeamEdit

 
La Masia graduates Guillermo Amor, Albert Ferrer and Pep Guardiola.

Johan Cruyff returned to Barcelona as manager in 1988, and assembled the legendary Dream Team.[18] When Cruyff took hold of this Barcelona side they had won only two La Liga titles in the past 11 years. Cruyff decided to build a team composed of international stars and La Masia graduates in order to restore Barcelona to their former glorious days. This team was formed by international stars Romario, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov and Ronald Koeman. Cruyff's Dream Team also consisted of La Masia graduates Pep Guardiola, Albert Ferrer, and Guillermo Amor, as well as Spaniard Andoni Zubizarreta.

Johan Cruyff changed the way modern football was played,[citation needed] and incorporated the principles of ‘Total Football’ into this team. The success of possession-based football was revolutionary,[citation needed] and Cruyff's team won their first European Cup in 1992 and four consecutive La Liga titles between 1991 and 1994. In total, Cruyff won 11 trophies in eight years, making him the most successful manager in Barcelona's history until the record was broken by his protégé Pep Guardiola two decades later.

Barcelona's run ended with Real Madrid winning La Liga in 1995. Atlético Madrid won their ninth La Liga title in 1996, as well as their only Liga/Copa Del Rey double, before Real Madrid added another Liga to their cabinet in 1997. After the success of Cruyff, another Dutchman – Ajax manager, Louis van Gaal – arrived at the Camp Nou, and with the talents of Luís Figo, Luis Enrique, and Rivaldo, Barcelona won the La Liga title in 1998 and 1999, including their fourth double of Liga and Copa Del Rey in 1998. All in all, Barcelona won six La Liga titles in the 1990s and continued their success throughout the 2000s.

2000s–present: Real Madrid and Barcelona's hegemony and new challengersEdit

Results of Barça and Real Madrid in the 21st century
Season BAR RMA
2000–01 4 1
2001–02 4 3
2002–03 6 1
2003–04 2 4
2004–05 1 2
2005–06 1 2
2006–07 2 1
2007–08 3 1
2008–09 1 2
2009–10 1 2
2010–11 1 2
2011–12 2 1
2012–13 1 2
2013–14 2 3
2014–15 1 2
2015–16 1 2
2016–17 2 1
2017–18 1 3
2018–19 1 3
2019–20 2 1
TOTAL 10 7
Top three 17 20
     League champions
     Copa del Rey
     La Liga/Copa del Rey double

The 21st Century has continued the success FC Barcelona had in the 1990s under Johan Cruyff, dominating La Liga.[19] Although Real Madrid have been prominent, Barcelona have created a hegemony in Spain not seen since the Real Madrid of the 1960s-1970s.[20] Since the start of the new century, Barcelona have won 10 La Ligas, including two trebles and four doubles. This new century however has also seen new challengers being crowned champions. Between 1999-00 and 2004, Deportivo La Coruña finished in the top three on five occasions, a better record than either Real Madrid or Barcelona, and in 2000, under Javier Irureta, Deportivo became the ninth team to be crowned champions. Valencia were also a very strong team in the early 2000s; they were crowned La Liga champions in 2002 and 2004 under Rafael Benitez.

Real Madrid won their first Liga titles of the century in 2001 and 2003. With world-class players like Raúl, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gonzalo Higuaín, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Figo, Real Madrid won back-to-back La Liga titles in 2006–07 and 2007–08. FC Barcelona won their first title of the new century under the brilliance of Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o in the 2004-2005 season. Barcelona retained the title and won it again in the 2005-2006 season. Under the era of Pep Guardiola, powered by La Masia's talent, such as Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona added two straight Liga titles in 2009 and 2010. FC Barcelona also became the first team in Spain to achieve the Treble in the 2008–09 season, consisting of winning the La Liga/Copa del Rey double and the UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona won a third straight La Liga title in the 2010–11 season, but Real Madrid ended their winning streak in the 2011-2012 season under the management of José Mourinho. Real Madrid won their 32nd La Liga title with a record at the time of 100 points. The following year, in the 2012-2013 season, Barcelona won yet again another La Liga title under coach Tito Vilanova, replicating the 100 points record Real Madrid achieved the previous year. Atlético Madrid, under the management of Diego Simeone won their tenth La Liga title in 2013–14, their first since 1996. Atletico Madrid became the first team since Valencia in 2004 to win La Liga and break Barcelona and Real Madrid's dominion over the league.[21] In the 2014–15 season, under the trio of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez nicknamed 'MSN', Barcelona made history by becoming the first team to achieve a second treble, and winning a sixth Liga/Copa Del Rey double. Barcelona continued their dominance and in the 2015–16 season, won back-to-back Liga/Copa Del Rey double, something that has not been achieved since the 1950s.[22] Real Madrid brought back the La Liga title under the management of Zinedine Zidane in 2016–17, but Barcelona won the title again in the 2017–18 season, as well as winning their eighth double,[23] for 7 La Liga titles in 10 years. Barcelona retained the title yet again and won their 26th La Liga title in the 2018–19 season, for 8 La Liga titles in 11 years.[24] Madrid reclaimed the title in 2019–20, winning the season that was severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Barça finished second, making it their twelfth consecutive placing in the top two, with eight victories. For Madrid, it was only their third title since the start of Barcelona's dominance in 2008–09. On the other hand, Los Blancos captured four Champions League trophies during that timespan.[25]

The 2020–21 season started on September 12th. The teams participating in LaLiga 2020/21 are Athletic Club de Bilbao, Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona, Betis, Cádiz, Eibar, Getafe, Huesca, Levante, Osasuna, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla, Valencia, Valladolid, Villarreal, Elche, Alavés, Eibar and Celta Vigo. The teams joining the Primera División, coming from Segunda are Cadiz, Elche and Huesca. Espanyol was the first team in Primera to be dropped to Segunda Division in the 2019/20 season. Mallorca and Leganés were also downgraded later.[26]

ClubsEdit

Location of Community of Madrid teams in 2020–21 La Liga

20 teams contest the league in its current season, including the top 17 sides from the 2019–20 season and three promoted from the 2019–20 Segunda División. Cádiz and Huesca were promoted directly, and Elche won the promotion play-off.

Stadiums and locationsEdit

Teams Locations Stadiums Capacity
Alavés Vitoria-Gasteiz Mendizorrotza 19,840[27]
Athletic Bilbao Bilbao San Mamés 53,289[28]
Atlético Madrid Madrid Wanda Metropolitano 68,456[29]
Barcelona Barcelona Camp Nou 99,354[30]
Cádiz Cádiz Ramón de Carranza 20,724[31]
Celta Vigo Vigo Abanca-Balaídos 29,000[32]
Eibar Eibar Ipurua 8,164[33]
Getafe Getafe Coliseum Alfonso Pérez 17,000[34]
Granada Granada Nuevo Los Cármenes 19,336[35]
Huesca Huesca El Alcoraz 7,638[36]
Levante Valencia Ciutat de València 26,354[37]
Osasuna Pamplona El Sadar 18,570[38]
Real Betis Seville Benito Villamarín 60,721[39]
Real Madrid Madrid Santiago Bernabéu Stadium 81,000
Real Sociedad San Sebastián Reale Arena 39,500[40]
Sevilla Seville Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán 43,883[41]
Valencia Valencia Mestalla 55,000[42]
Valladolid Valladolid José Zorrilla 28,012[43]
Villarreal Villarreal Estadio de la Cerámica 23,500[44]

La Liga clubs in EuropeEdit

 
Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund, in the 2013 UEFA Champions League semi-final

The Primera División is currently first in the UEFA rankings of European leagues based on their performances in European competitions over a five-year period, ahead of England's Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga, and Italy's Serie A in fourth.[45]

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are in the top ten most successful clubs in European football in terms of total European trophies.[citation needed] These three clubs, along with Sevilla and Atlético Madrid, are five of the most successful teams in European competition history; these five are the only Spanish clubs to have won five or more international trophies. Deportivo La Coruña are the joint fifth-most participating Spanish team in the Champions League with Sevilla — after Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Atlético Madrid — with five Champions League appearances in a row, including a semifinal appearance in 2003–04.[46]

In 2005–06, Barcelona won the Champions League and Sevilla won the UEFA Cup, making La Liga the first league to do the European "double" since 1997. This feat was repeated in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018. On 25 August 2015, La Liga became the first league to qualify five teams for the UEFA Champions League group stage (Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia).

ChampionsEdit

Performance by clubEdit

Performance by individual clubs in Primera División
Teams Winners Runners-up Winning seasons
Real Madrid
34
23
1931–32, 1932–33, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2011–12, 2016–17, 2019–20
Barcelona
26
27
1929–29, 1944–45, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1973–74, 1984–85, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19
Atlético Madrid
10
11
1939–40, 1940–41, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1995–96, 2013–14
Athletic Bilbao
8
7
1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1942–43, 1955–56, 1982–83, 1983–84
Valencia
6
6
1941–42, 1943–44, 1946–47, 1970–71, 2001–02, 2003–04
Real Sociedad
2
3
1980–81, 1981–82
Deportivo La Coruña
1
5
1999–2000
Sevilla
1
4
1945–46
Real Betis
1
0
1934–35

Performance comparison since 2010Edit

Performance comparison of top teams since 2010.

Teams 09–10 10–11 11–12 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19 19–20
BAR 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 2
RMA 2 2 1 2 3 2 2 1 3 3 1
VAL 3 3 3 5 8 4 12 12 4 4 9
ATM 9 7 5 3 1 3 3 3 2 2 3
SEV 4 5 9 9 5 5 7 4 7 6 4
ATH 8 6 10 12 4 7 5 7 16 8 11
RSO - 15 12 4 7 12 9 6 12 9 6
ESP 11 8 14 13 14 10 13 8 11 7 20
BET - - 13 7 20 - 10 15 6 10 15
VIL 7 4 18 - 6 6 4 5 5 14 5
     League champions
     Champions League
     Europa League
     Relegation

All-time La Liga tableEdit

The all-time La Liga table[47] is an overall record of all match results, points, and goals of every team that has played in La Liga since its inception in 1929. The table is accurate as of the end of the 2019–20 season.[48] Teams in bold are part of the 2020–21 La Liga season.

All-time LaLiga table
Pos Team S Pts GP W D L GF GA 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th T Debut Since/
Last App
Best
1 Real Madrid 89 4616 2876 1716 576 584 6174 3255 34 23 10 8 3 4 82 1929 1929 1
2 Barcelona 89 4524 2876 1660 585 631 6175 3217 26 27 12 12 4 6 86 1929 1929 1
3 Atlético Madrid 83 3667 2728 1304 634 790 4698 3387 10 10 16 9 7 6 60 1929 2002–03 1
4 Valencia 85 3573 2778 1238 650 890 4560 3595 6 6 10 13 10 7 52 1931–32 1987–88 1
5 Athletic Bilbao 89 3515 2876 1245 672 959 4758 3833 8 7 10 5 8 10 49 1929 1929 1
6 Sevilla 76 3006 2522 1043 559 920 3845 3512 1 4 4 6 12 7 34 1934–35 2001–02 1
7 Espanyol 85 2919 2740 979 642 1119 3720 4034 4 5 2 5 16 1929 2019-20 3
8 Real Sociedad 73 2728 2416 907 603 906 3395 3383 2 3 2 5 4 4 20 1929 2010–11 1
9 Zaragoza 58 2109 1986 698 522 766 2683 2847 1 4 5 4 4 18 1939–40 2012–13 2
10 Real Betis 54 2036 1842 648 465 729 2314 2664 1 2 3 4 5 15 1932–33 2015–16 1
11 Celta Vigo 54 1916 1812 616 426 770 2427 2796 2 4 5 11 1939–40 2012–13 4
12 Deportivo La Coruña 46 1843 1568 569 403 596 2090 2269 1 5 4 1 1 12 1941–42 2017–18 1
13 Valladolid 44 1554 1542 482 410 650 1831 2274 1 1 1 3 1948–49 2018–19 4
14 Racing Santander 44 1416 1426 453 335 638 1842 2365 1 1 2 1 5 1929 2011–12 2
15 Osasuna 38 1403 1356 439 340 577 1543 1887 2 2 2 6 1935–36 2019–20 4
16 Sporting Gijón 43 1389 1458 471 358 629 1753 2152 1 1 2 2 1 7 1944–45 2016–17 2
17 Málaga 37 1334 1293 395 335 563 1445 1824 1 1 2 1949–50 2017–18 4
18 Mallorca 28 1181 1026 342 262 422 1222 1436 2 2 1 5 1960–61 2019–20 3
19 Oviedo 38 1174 1192 408 292 492 1642 1951 3 2 2 4 11 1933–34 2000–01 3
20 Villarreal 20 1135 770 312 199 249 1061 940 1 1 2 5 2 11 1998–99 2013–14 2
21 Las Palmas 34 1042 1134 372 249 513 1371 1820 1 1 1 1 1 5 1951–52 2017–18 2
22 Granada 24 723 780 234 183 363 871 1203 2 2 1941–42 2019–20 6
23 Getafe 15 721 570 191 148 231 653 734 1 1 2 2004–05 2017–18 5
24 Rayo Vallecano 18 694 680 197 156 327 801 1158 1977–78 2018–19 8
25 Elche 21 606 678 203 180 295 750 1022 1 1 2 1959–60 2020–21 5
26 Alavés 15 557 494 163 103 228 571 782 1 1 1930–31 2016–17 6
27 Levante 14 555 516 149 126 241 580 809 1 1 1963–64 2017–18 6
28 Hércules 20 538 628 184 149 295 716 1050 1 4 5 1935–36 2010–11 5
29 Tenerife 13 510 494 155 128 211 619 744 2 2 1961–62 2009–10 5
30 Murcia 18 445 586 145 143 298 607 992 1940–41 2007–08 11
31 Salamanca 12 375 423 123 102 198 422 581 1974–75 1998–99 7
32 Sabadell 14 353 426 129 95 202 492 720 1 1 2 1943–44 1987–88 4
33 Cádiz 12 343 448 104 127 217 393 662 1977–78 2020–21 12
34 Logroñés 9 293 346 96 92 158 291 489 1987–88 1996–97 7
35 Castellón 11 285 334 103 79 152 419 588 1 2 3 1941–42 1990–91 4
36 Albacete 7 277 270 76 76 118 320 410 1991–92 2004–05 7
37 Eibar 6 272 228 71 59 98 268 333 2014–15 2014–15 9[49]
38 Almería 6 242 228 62 56 110 244 366 2007–08 2014–15 8
39 Córdoba 9 230 282 82 63 137 285 430 1 1 1962–63 2014–15 5
40 Compostela 4 190 160 52 45 63 199 241 1994–95 1997–98 10
41 Recreativo 5 188 186 50 46 90 202 296 1978–79 2008–09 8
42 Burgos CF 6 168 204 59 50 95 216 310 1971–72 1979–80 12
43 Leganés 4 159 152 39 42 71 137 200 2016–17 2019-20 13
44 Pontevedra 6 150 180 53 44 83 165 221 1963–64 1969–70 7
45 Numancia 4 148 152 37 37 78 155 253 1999–00 2008–09 17
46 Arenas 7 107 130 43 21 66 227 308 1 3 4 1929 1934–35 3
47 Real Burgos 3 96 114 26 44 44 101 139 1990–91 1992–93 9
48 Gimnàstic 4 91 116 34 16 66 181 295 1947–48 2006–07 7
49 Girona 2 88 76 23 19 34 87 112 2017–18 2018–19 9
50 Extremadura 2 83 80 20 23 37 62 117 1996–97 1998–99 17
51 Mérida 2 81 80 19 24 37 70 115 1995–96 1997–98 19
52 Alcoyano 4 76 108 30 16 62 145 252 1945–46 1950–51 10
53 Jaén 3 71 90 29 13 48 121 183 1953–54 1957–58 14
54 Real Unión 4 56 72 21 14 37 153 184 1 1 1929 1931–32 6
55 AD Almería 2 52 68 17 18 33 71 116 1979–80 1980–81 10
56 Europa 3 42 54 18 6 30 97 131 1929 1930–31 8
57 Lleida 2 40 68 13 14 41 70 182 1950–51 1993–94 16
58 Xerez 1 34 38 8 10 20 38 66 2009–10 2009–10 20
59 Huesca 1 33 38 7 12 19 43 65 2018–19 2020–21 19
60 Condal 1 22 30 7 8 15 37 57 1956–57 1956–57 16
61 Atlético Tetuán 1 19 30 7 5 18 51 85 1951–52 1951–52 16
62 Cultural Leonesa 1 14 30 5 4 21 34 65 1955–56 1955–56 15
Notes
    • Note: Despite finishing the season in the 13th position in the 2014–15 La Liga, on 5 June, Elche was relegated to Segunda División due to its financial struggles. Newcomers Eibar, who finished the season in the 18th position, took Elche's place in the 2015–16 La Liga.
League or status for 2020–21 season
2020–21 La Liga
2020–21 Segunda División
2020–21 Segunda División B
2020–21 Tercera División
2020-21 Divisiones Regionales
Club no longer exists

PlayersEdit

Eligibility of non-EU playersEdit

In La Liga, players can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry, he can claim Spanish citizenship after playing in Spain for five years. Sometimes, this can lead to a triple-citizenship situation; for example, Leo Franco, who was born in Argentina, is of Italian heritage yet can claim a Spanish passport, having played in La Liga for over five years.

In addition, players from the ACP countries—countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement—are not counted against non-EU quotas due to the Kolpak ruling.

Individual awardsEdit

Until the 2008–09 season, no official individual awards existed in La Liga. In 2008–09 season, the LFP governing body created the LFP Awards (now called La Liga Awards), awarded each season to individual players and coaches.[50] Additional awards relating to La Liga are distributed, some not sanctioned by the Liga de Futbol Profesional or RFEF and therefore not regarded as official. The most notable of these are four awarded by Spain's largest sports paper, Marca, namely the Pichichi Trophy, awarded to the top scorer of the season; the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, for the goalkeeper with the fewest goals allowed per game (minimum 28 games); the Alfredo di Stéfano Trophy, for the player judged to be the best overall player in the division; and the Zarra Trophy, for the top scorer among Spanish domestic players.

Since the 2013–14 season, La Liga has also bestowed the monthly manager of the month and player of the month awards.

TransfersEdit

The first La Liga player to be involved in a transfer which broke the world record was Luis Suárez in 1961, who moved from Barcelona to Inter Milan for £152,000 (£3.4 million in 2019). 12 years later, Johan Cruyff was the first player to join a club in La Liga for a record fee of £922,000 (£11.2 million in 2019), when he moved from Ajax to Barcelona. In 1982, Barcelona again set the record by signing Diego Maradona from Boca Juniors for £5 million (£18 million in 2019).[51] Real Betis set the world record in 1998 when they signed Denílson from São Paulo for £21.5 million (£38.1 million in 2019).[52]

Four of the last six world transfer records have been set by Real Madrid, signing Luís Figo,[53] Zinedine Zidane,[54] Cristiano Ronaldo[55] (plus a deal for Kaká days before Ronaldo[56] which fell just below a world record due to the way the fee was calculated)[57] and finally Gareth Bale, who was bought in 2013 for £85.3m (€103.4m or $140m at the time; £98.5m in 2019) from Tottenham Hotspur.[58]

Brazilian forward Neymar was the subject of an expensive and complicated transfer arrangement when he joined Barcelona from Santos in 2013,[59][60] and his outgoing transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 set a new world record fee at €222m via his buyout clause.[61] Barcelona soon invested a large amount of the money received from this transfer in a replacement, Ousmane Dembélé, whose deal – €105m – was the second most expensive ever before Philippe Coutinho's transfer to Barcelona for €142m in January 2018.[62][63]

Player recordsEdit

Most goalsEdit

As of 19 July 2020

Boldface indicates a player still active in La Liga. Italics indicates a player still active outside La Liga.

Rank Player Club(s) Years active Goals Apps Ratio
1   Lionel Messi Barcelona 2004– 445 486 0.92
2   Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 2009–2018 311 292 1.07
3   Telmo Zarra Athletic Bilbao 1940–1955 251 278 0.9
4   Hugo Sánchez Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano 1981–1994 234 347 0.67
5   Raúl Real Madrid 1994–2010 228 550 0.41
6   Alfredo Di Stéfano Real Madrid, Espanyol 1953–1966 227 329 0.69
7   César Rodríguez Granada, Barcelona, Cultural Leonesa, Elche 1939–1955 223 353 0.63
8   Quini Sporting Gijón, Barcelona 1970–1987 219 448 0.49
9   Pahiño Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruña 1943–1956 210 278 0.76
10   Edmundo Suárez Valencia, Alcoyano 1939–1950 195 231 0.84

Most appearancesEdit

As of 19 July 2020
Rank Player Club(s) Years active Apps Goals
1   Andoni Zubizarreta Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia 1981–1998 622 0
2   Joaquín Real Betis, Valencia, Málaga 2001–2013 2015– 552 76
3   Raúl Real Madrid 1994–2010 550 228
4   Eusebio Sacristán Valladolid, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Celta Vigo 1983–2002 543 36
5   Francisco Buyo Sevilla, Real Madrid 1980–1997 542 0
6   Manuel Sanchís Real Madrid 1983–2001 523 32
7   Iker Casillas Real Madrid 1999–2015 510 0
8   Xavi Barcelona 1998–2015 505 58
9   Miquel Soler Espanyol, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Zaragoza, Mallorca 1983–2003 504 12
10   Fernando Hierro Valladolid, Real Madrid 1987–2003 497 104

SponsorsEdit

Sponsorship names for seasonsEdit

  • Primera División (1929–2008)
  • Liga BBVA (2008–2016)
  • LaLiga Santander (2016–present)

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Spanish: [kampeoˈnato naθjoˈnal de ˈliɣa ðe pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon]; "First Division National League Championship"
  2. ^ English: /læ ˈlɡə/,[1] Spanish: [la ˈliɣa]; "The League"

ReferencesEdit

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  4. ^ Lara, Lorenzo; Harrison, Adapted by Simon (22 May 2017). "The Real Madrid domination of the 1960s and 70s". MARCA in English. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  5. ^ "8th Liga in 11 years". www.fcbarcelona.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Attendances in India, China and the USA catching up with the major European leagues". World Soccer. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
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  8. ^ "Major sports leagues all make a lot of money, here's how they do it:, Major sports leagues all make a lot of money, here's how they do it:".
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  34. ^ "Datos Generales" (in Spanish). Getafe CF. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
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  36. ^ "El Alcoraz" (in Spanish). SD Huesca. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
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  52. ^ Bellos, Alex (30 January 2007). "Denilson Times His Run to Perfection." The Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  53. ^ Nash, Elizabeth (25 July 2000). "Figo defects to Real Madrid for record £36.2m". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
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  56. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (7 June 2009). "Real Madrid to confirm world record £56m signing of Kaka". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
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  63. ^ Sport, Telegraph (8 January 2018). "Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona debut delayed by 20 days because of injury as he completes £142m move" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.

External linksEdit