The División Profesional de la Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol (locally [diβiˈsjom pɾofesjoˈnal de la asosjaˈsjom paɾaˈɣwaʝa ðe ˈfuðβol]; "Professional Division of the Paraguayan Football Association"), also known as the Primera División (IPA: [pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon]; "first division"), or due to sponsorship reasons Copa de Primera TIGO-Visión Banco, is the top-flight professional football league in Paraguay. Currently, there are 12 teams in the first division.
|Number of teams||12|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||División Intermedia|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa Paraguay|
|International cup(s)||Copa Libertadores|
|Current champions||Libertad (24th title) |
|Most championships||Olimpia (46 titles)|
|TV partners||Multideporte & Unicanal (Three games per matchday are broadcast live plus One game per matchday are broadcast delayed Sunday at 22:00)|
Tigo Sports & Tigo Max (Four games per matchday)
Telefuturo (Only emits highlights per matchday)
Paravisión (Only are broadcast live called El Partido del Viernes Friday at 21:00 (K.O 21:10))
TVC Sports 2 (Only are broadcast live Friday at 20:55 (K.O 21:10))
|Current: 2023 season|
The most successful club is Olimpia, with 46 championships. The most recent champions are Libertad, having won the 2023 Clausura tournament. As of 2022, IFFHS ranked the league as the 10th strongest in the world and 3rd in South America.
Liga Paraguaya's first game was played in 1906, after the director of the El Diario newspaper, Don Adolfo Riquelme, brought to his office on 18 June 1906, the representatives of the five existing football teams in Paraguay at that time (Olimpia, Guaraní, Libertad, General Díaz, and Nacional) to create the governing body of football in Paraguay: the Liga Paraguaya de Fútbol (known today as Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol). The representatives were William Paats and Junio Godoy (Olimpia) Ramón Caballero, Manuel Bella and Salvador Melián (Guaraní), Juan Escalada (Libertad), César Urdapilleta (General Díaz), and Vicente Gadea (Nacional). The Liga Paraguaya saw Club Guaraní as the first champion in 1906, after defeating Olimpia in the final.
The Primera División was founded in 1906 with 5 teams, and turned professional in 1935 when 10 clubs broke away from the amateur leagues to form a professional league. Since 1996 the format of tournament was changed to Torneo Apertura and Clausura, but since 2008 each tournament is independent.
Traditionally, the dominance of Olimpia and Cerro Porteño went mostly unchallenged for decades. All of this changed at the turn of the 21st century. Since then, Libertad has been the most dominant club, while Nacional and Guaraní have also experienced success at the local level.
The league is currently contested by 12 teams that play home and away games in a round-robin format. The league is traditionally divided into two halfs: the Torneo Apertura (Opening Tournament) from February to July, and the Torneo Clausura (Closing Tournament) from July to December.
Relegation is based on an averaging system. At the end of each season, the two teams with the worst three-year averages are relegated, and the two best teams in the "División Intermedia" (second division) are promoted to Primera División.
International cup participation edit
|out of 5|
| Apertura and/or Clausura champions / Copa Libertadores group stage|
Copa Libertadores group stage
In the Copa Libertadores, the winner of the Apertura and Clausura tournaments qualify automatically. The third (going into the second round play-off) and fourth (going into the first round play-off) representatives are the best placed non-champion teams from the accumulative table of both the Apertura and Clausura.
In the Copa Sudamericana, the 4th, 5th and 6th best placed teams from the Apertura and Clausura accumulative table qualify for the first stage, alongside the winners of the Copa Paraguay.
The following are the teams in the first division in 2023:
|Cerro Porteño||Asunción||General Pablo Rojas||45,000|
|General Caballero (JLM)||Juan León Mallorquín||Ka'arendy||10,000|
|Guaireña||Villarrica||Parque del Guairá||12,000|
|Libertad||Asunción||Tigo La Huerta||10,000|
|Olimpia||Asunción||Tigo Manuel Ferreira||25,000|
|Resistencia||Asunción||Luis Alfonso Giagni[ii]||11,000|
|Sportivo Ameliano||Asunción||Martín Torres[iii]||3,000|
|Sportivo Luqueño||Luque||Feliciano Cáceres||23,000|
|Sportivo Trinidense||Asunción||Martín Torres||3,000|
|Tacuary||Asunción||Luis Alfonso Giagni[iv]||11,000|
- Teams occasionally play their home matches at Estadio Defensores del Chaco in Asunción. Derbies between Cerro Porteño and Olimpia are also usually played at this stadium.
- Used as home stadium for the season since Resistencia's stadium Estadio Tomás Beggan Correa did not meet APF requirements.
- Used as home stadium for the season since Sportivo Ameliano's stadium Estadio José Tomás Silva did not meet APF requirements.
- Used as home stadium for the season since Tacuary's stadium Estadio Toribio Vargas did not meet APF requirements.
List of champions edit
Complete list of champions since 1906. Paraguayan football turned professional since the 1935 season.
Titles by club edit
Main sponsors edit
- Pepsi (1997-1998)
- Brahma (1997-1998)
- Lloyds TSB (1998-1999)
- Banco del Paraná (2000 only)
- Gillette (2005-2007)
- Tigo (2008-present)
- Visión Banco (2010-present)
Current official sponsors edit
- Coca-Cola (1987-2004/2011-present)
- Pilsen (1988-2007/2011-present)
- Caña Fortin
- Vino Toro
- Lácteos Trébol
- Lácteos Lactolanda
- Pastas Anita
- Supermercado Superseis
- Supermercado La Bomba
- Supermercado Arete
- Supermercados Kingo
- Bein TV (1999-present)
- DirecTV (1999-present)
- GOL TV (2003-presente)
Former official sponsors edit
Media coverage edit
See also edit
- Football in Paraguay
- Paraguayan football league system
- División Intermedia
- Paraguayan Tercera División
- Paraguayan Primera División B
- Primera División B Nacional
- Paraguayan Cuarta División
- Campeonato Nacional de Interligas
- Unión del Fútbol del Interior
- Paraguayan women's football championship
- Football Federation of the 1st Department Concepción
- Football Federation of the 2nd Department San Pedro
- Football Federation of the 3rd Department Cordillera
- Football Federation of the 4th Department Guairá
- Football Federation of the 5th Department Caaguazú
- Football Federation of the 6th Department Caazapá
- Football Federation of the 7th Department Itapúa
- Football Federation of the 8th Department Misiones
- Football Federation of the 9th Department Paraguarí
- Football Federation of the 10th Department Alto Paraná
- Football Federation of the 11th Department Central
- Football Federation of the 12th Department Ñeembucú
- Football Federation of the 13th Department Amambay
- Football Federation of the 14th Department Canindeyú
- Football Federation of the 15th Department Presidente Hayes
- Football Federation of the 16th Department Alto Paraguay
- Football Federation of the 17th Department Boquerón