Argentine Primera División

  (Redirected from Primera División Argentina)

The Primera División (Spanish pronunciation: [pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon]; (English: "First Division"), named Liga Profesional de Fútbol (English: "Professional Football League") since 2020,[9] is a professional football league in Argentina,[10] organised by the Argentine Football Association (AFA).

Primera División
Logo de la Liga Profesional de Fútbol de Argentina.svg
Organising bodyAFA
Founded12 April 1891; 130 years ago (1891-04-12)[1][2]
First season1891
CountryArgentina
ConfederationCONMEBOL
Number of teams26 (2021)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toPrimera Nacional
Domestic cup(s)Copa Argentina
Supercopa Argentina
Copa Liga Profesional
International cup(s)Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Current championsBoca Juniors (2019–20)
Most championshipsRiver Plate (36 titles) [3][4]
Most appearancesHugo Gatti (765)[5][6]
Top goalscorerArsenio Erico (295)[7]
TV partnersFox Sports Premium
TNT Sports (Argentina)[8]
List of international broadcasters
Websiteligaprofesional.ar
Current: 2021 Argentine Primera División

The Primera División is the country's premier football division and is the top division of the Argentine football league system. It operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Primera Nacional (Second Division), with the teams placed lowest at the end of the season being relegated.[11]

With the first championship held in 1891,[12] Argentina became the first country outside the United Kingdom (where the Football League had debuted in 1888, and the Scottish and Irish Football Leagues in 1890) to establish a football league.[13] In the early years, only teams from Buenos Aires, Greater Buenos Aires, La Plata and Rosario[14] were affiliated to the national association. Teams from other cities would join in later years.

The Primera División turned professional in 1931 when 18 clubs broke away from the amateur leagues to form a professional one. Since then, the season has been contested annually in four different formats and calendars.

The Argentine championship was ranked in the top 10 as one of the strongest leagues in the world (for 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2015 period) by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). Argentina placed 4th after La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Bundesliga (Germany).[15][dead link]

Format and teamsEdit

ChampionshipEdit

For the first time since 1892, no league championship was held in 2020 after the schedule for a regular league season was repeatedly delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore the AFA organised the 2020 Copa de la Liga Profesional, a domestic cup conceived as a contingency competition.[16]

The first championship under a league format would be started on 18 July 2021, after the conclusion of 2021 Copa América. It will be run under a single round-robin, contested by 26 teams (24 from the previous edition plus 2 promoted from Primera B Nacional). In case of two teams shared the first position at the end of the tournament, a final match will be held to define a champion. The winner will qualify to play the 2022 Copa Libertadores as "Argentina 1". The championship will end on 12 December 2021.[17]

RelegationEdit

Relegation is based on an averaging system.[18] At the end of the season, the three teams with the worst three-year averages are relegated, while the winner and runner-up of Primera Nacional championship are promoted to Primera.[19][20][21]

On 28 April 2020 AFA announced the culmination of the 2019–20 season in all of its league competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Relegation from Primera División was suspended until 2022.[22]

Domestic cupsEdit

The Primera División champion gains a place to play the Supercopa Argentina v. the winner of Copa Argentina.

A new edition of the Copa de la Liga Profesional (renamed "Copa Diego Maradona") will be held in 2021,[23][17] starting on 14 February. The championship will be contested by 26 teams (24 from the previous edition plus 2 promoted from Primera B Nacional), divided into two zones of 13 teams each. The championship will run under a single round-robin format, with the first 4 teams of each zone qualifying to the next stage (quarterfinals), where they played under a single elimination format. Winning teams will advance to semifinals and the best two will play the final that will decide the champion of the season.

The final would be held on 30 May before the beginning of 2021 Copa América.[23] As previous editions of Argentine tournaments, none club will be relegated to Primera B Nacional.[24] The winner of this cup will qualify to 2022 Copa Libertadores as "Argentina 2".[17]

International cupsEdit

As of 2018–19, five teams from Argentina are eligible to play the Copa Libertadores. The champion of Primera División automatically qualifies for the tournament. The other three teams best placed in the table at the end of the tournament (2nd to 4th) are also eligible to play the Cup (2nd and 3rd for group stage, and the 4th for second stage).

For the Copa Sudamericana, six teams are eligible. Clubs placed 6th to 11th in the table at the end of the tournament, gain a place to play the cup.

HistoryEdit

Round-robin tournaments (1891–1966)Edit

 
The Copa Campeonato was the first trophy awarded by the AFA, then abandoned [25] and re-issued from 2013[26] to 2015.

In 1891 the Association Argentine Football League was established, with Alex Lamont of St. Andrew's Scots School as one of its board members.[27] The AAFL was the first football league outside of the British Isles.,[28] to establish a football league. The first Primera División matches were played on 12 April 1891: Buenos Aires FC vs. St. Andrew's and Old Caledonians vs. Belgrano FC.[1][2]

A single double round-robin tournament was played each year, and the team with the most points was crowned as champion, except for 1936, during that year the winners of Copa de Honor and the Campeonato played a match for the championship title. The single tournament arrangement lasted until 1966.

During this period, the traditional "Big Five" clubs, namely, River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing and San Lorenzo dominated Argentine football. No other team besides them had won the league championship in these 36 years.[29][30][31][32] The most serious title challenge came from Banfield in 1951, when they gained the same points with Racing Club in the league table. However, they lost 1–0 in the two-legged first place playoffs and gave the title to Racing.[31]

The averaging system for relegations was implemented for the first time in the 1957 championship,[33] with Ferro Carril Oeste becoming the first team to be relegated under that system.[34] Averaging continued until 1963, when the championship returned to its old format (with the worst placed teams being relegated).[35] Nevertheless, there were no relegations until 1967 (with Unión (SF) and Deportivo Español being sent to Primera B after playing a relegation tournament contested by teams of First and Second divisions to define the promotions and relegations).[36]

Metropolitano and Nacional (1967–1985)Edit

In 1967, the single tournament format was abandoned and replaced by two championships in each year: the Metropolitano and the Nacional. The Metropolitano only allowed clubs competing the old tournament to participate, while the Nacional was open to teams from regional tournaments.[32] The format of competition was also altered, with the double round-robin tournament replaced by the two-group championship Metropolitano and single round-robin Nacional in that year.

This change brought about a revolution in Argentine football, as small teams, like Estudiantes de La Plata at first, and Vélez Sarsfield, Chacarita Juniors and others in later years, broke down the hegemony of the five clubs who had won all the championships up to that date.

Between 1967 and 1969, the Metropolitano and Nacional had gone through several format changes. In the first three years, the Metropolitano was a two-group championship, with the best two teams from each group competing the semi-finals of the knock-out stage.[32]

The six best teams of each group would advance to the Nacional, with four more teams coming from regional tournaments, to compete for the Nacional championship in a single round-robin format. The seventh and eighth team of each group, alongside four teams from regional tournaments, played the Promocional tournament, which, in 1969, was replaced by the Petit tournament contested without regional teams. The ninth to twelfth teams of each group entered the Reclasificatorio tournament to determine the relegating teams.[32]

In 1970, the format of the Metropolitano and Nacional underwent a reform. Since that year, and until 1985, the Nacional had become a group tournament with playoffs, while the Metropolitano had been competed under a single or double round-robin system, except for the 1974, 1976 and 1979 edition, which were also contested as a group tournament with playoffs.[37][38]

Despite the format change in 1970, teams still entered the Nacional championship, Petit tournament and Reclasificatorio tournament according to their rankings in the Metropolitano in that year. However, in 1971, the tournaments were separated. Teams did not enter the Nacional by finishing at the top ranks of Metropolitano. On the other hand, the Petit tournament and Reclasificatorio tournament were abandoned. The Metropolitano and Nacional became two truly individual tournaments. Although the old system was reused in 1972, the separation was instituted again in 1973 and was adopted throughout the remaining Metropolitano and Nacional era.

The Metropolitano was always played first, until the order of the tournaments was reversed in 1982.[37]

After 20 years since the last time it had been used, the average system for relegations returned in the 1983 Metropolitano championship,[33] two years after San Lorenzo was relegated. That year, River Plate finished 18° out of 19 teams and would have been relegated under the old system, along with Racing de Córdoba. The first teams to be relegated on average were Racing and Nueva Chicago.[37] Boca Juniors was also struggling at that time and had a dismal 1984 season. These facts have led to speculation that the averaging system was instituted to minimize the chance of big teams being relegated.[33]

European-styled seasons (1985–1991)Edit

Following the advice of Argentina national football team's then coach Carlos Salvador Bilardo, the structure of play was modified in 1985. Traditionally, like other countries in Southern Hemisphere, football season began and ended according to the calendar year. However, upon the reform, European style season was adopted for the first time among all the South American countries. Moreover, instead of holding two championships every year, only one double round-robin tournament was contested, like football leagues in Europe. The team topping the table at the end of season was crowned the champion.

In 1985, after the Nacional was played, the Metropolitano was not held, while the new single tournament (1985/86) was played for the first time.

In 1988–89 season, three points were given to match winners. If a draw occurred, penalty shootout was taken place and the winner of the shootout would get two points while the loser still had one. This format was waived in the following season.

Apertura and Clausura (1991–2012)Edit

Five years later, the single championship was split into two single-round tournaments, giving birth to the Apertura and Clausura arrangement.[39] In 1991 the two champions played winner-take-all matches. This practice was very controversial, especially since one of the biggest teams, Boca Juniors, lost the finals against Newell's Old Boys, costing them their first official championship since 1981 despite an unbeaten run in the Clausura. In 1992 the game was held as well (this time between Newell's Old Boys and River Plate), but regardless of the result (which favored River Plate) both teams were awarded the title of Champion. After 1992, the practice was quickly abandoned, so that two champions (on equal footing) were crowned every season and no deciding game is played.

Originally, two points were given to match winners except in the 1989–90 season. Starting in 1995–96, the rule was changed and three points were given for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss.

The 1999–2000 season introduced the promotion and relegation system for the first time, where the two clubs placed 1st and 2nd within the four teams with the lowest average, had to play a two-leg series with teams from Primera B Nacional to keep their place in the division.[40]

Inicial and Final (2012–2014)Edit

For the 2012–13 season, the Torneo Apertura and Clausura became "Torneo Inicial" and "Torneo Final," being disputed with the same format as before but proclaiming only one champion each season, unlike the last format that had two champions (Apertura and Clausura, respectively).[41]

Before those changes, a controversial project for the 2012–13 season had been proposed: it consisted in a new tournament that would contain both the Primera División and Primera B Nacional teams: the former was not going to have any relegated team in its 2011–12 season and include sixteen teams from the latter, Primera B Nacional. The tournament would also include a team from the Primera B Metropolitana and one from the Torneo Argentino A, creating a 38-team league. These changes were strongly opposed by the media and the people, and finally the tournament was called off. However, the project for the new format was successfully picked up starting from the 2015 season.

Superfinal (2013–2014)Edit

Once Inicial and Final tournaments have finished, both winners had to play a match for the Copa Campeonato (familiarly known as Superfinal). The AFA had previously determined that the first edition (played in 2013) would be considered as a Primera División official title (2012–13 season), therefore Vélez Sarsfield awarded its 10th official championship after defeating Newell's.[42]

Nevertheless, from the 2014 edition it was determined that the Superfinal would not be considered as a Primera División title but an official cup.[43]

Due to this the 2015 and 2016 seasons were played as single tournaments with only one champion per season, the Copa Campeonato has not been held since then.

2014–20: One tournament again and SuperligaEdit

Starting August 2014, the "Torneo de Transición" was held, with 20 teams participating (17 from the 2013–14 season and 3 promoted from the 2013–14 Primera B Nacional). No teams were relegated at the end of the championship.[44]

In 2015, the format switched to a tournament with 30 teams. The first five clubs of the Zonas A & B of 2014 Primera B Nacional season promoted to the Primera División. Those 10 teams, with the addition of the 20 clubs currently participating in the top division, qualified to contest the next season.[45]

That same year, the AFA announced the format for the next five seasons of the Primera División:[46]

  • In the first half of 2016, the league was contested by 30 teams. One team was relegated to and one team was promoted from Primera B Nacional.
  • From August 2016 to June 2017, the league was also contested by 30 teams. Four teams were relegated to and two teams were promoted from Primera B Nacional.
  • From August 2017 to June 2018, the league was contested by 28 teams. Four teams will be relegated to and two teams will be promoted from Primera B Nacional. This season was also the first "Superliga Argentina", organised by the homonymous entity, that is administrated independently and has its own statute. Therefore, the AFA focused exclusively in the Argentina national teams.[20] The 2017–18 season was the first championship organised by the body.
  • From August 2018 to June 2019, the Superliga was contested by 26 teams. Four teams were relegated to and two teams were promoted from Primera B Nacional.

2020–presentEdit

In February 2020, President of AFA Claudio Tapia stated that the Superliga had been established to position Argentine football as a product, but it failed in that purpose. As a result, AFA would take over the organisation of Primera División championships, according with Tapia's statement.[9] One month after those announcements, the president of the Superliga, Mariano Elizondo, resigned.[47]

The Superliga was replaced by a similar body, named "Liga Profesional de Fútbol", directly linked to AFA and presided by Marcelo Tinelli.[48] It was expected that Superliga was dissolved once the 2020 edition of Copa de la Superliga Argentina finished,[47] but due to COVID-19 pandemic the cup was cancelled, accelerating times. In May 2020, the LFP was launched by the AFA.[48]

ClubsEdit

2021 seasonEdit

Club City Stadium Capacity Previous season
Aldosivi Mar del Plata José María Minella 35,354 22nd (aggregate table)
Argentinos Juniors Buenos Aires Diego Armando Maradona 25,000 4th (aggregate table)
Arsenal Sarandí Julio Humberto Grondona 16,300 12th (aggregate table)
Atlético Tucumán Tucumán Monumental José Fierro 32,700 15th (aggregate table)
Banfield Banfield Florencio Sola 34,901 17th (aggregate table)
Boca Juniors Buenos Aires Alberto J. Armando 54,000 1st (aggregate table)
Central Córdoba (SdE) Santiago del Estero Alfredo Terrera 16,000 18th (aggregate table)
Colón Santa Fe Brigadier General Estanislao López 40,000 23rd (aggregate table)
Defensa y Justicia Florencio Varela Norberto "Tito" Tomaghello 12,000 6th (aggregate table)
Estudiantes (LP) La Plata Jorge Luis Hirschi 30,000 14th (aggregate table)
Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP) La Plata Juan Carmelo Zerillo 24,544 19th (aggregate table)
Godoy Cruz Godoy Cruz Feliciano Gambarte 14,000 24th (aggregate table)
Huracán Buenos Aires Tomás Adolfo Ducó 48,314 21st (aggregate table)
Independiente Avellaneda Libertadores de América 52,853 13th (aggregate table)
Lanús Lanús Ciudad de Lanús - Néstor Díaz Pérez 46,619 10th (aggregate table)
Newell's Old Boys Rosario Marcelo Bielsa 38,095 8th (aggregate table)
Patronato Paraná Presbítero Bartolomé Grella 22,000 20th (aggregate table)
Platense Florida Este Ciudad de Vicente López 28,530 Primera Nacional - Second Promotion Stage: Champions
Racing Avellaneda Presidente Perón 55,389 3rd (aggregate table)
River Plate Buenos Aires Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti 70,074 2nd (aggregate table)
Rosario Central Rosario Gigante de Arroyito 41,654 11th (aggregate table)
San Lorenzo Buenos Aires Pedro Bidegain 39,494 7th (aggregate table)
Sarmiento (J) Junín Eva Perón 19,000 Primera Nacional - First Promotion Stage: Champions
Talleres (C) Córdoba Mario Alberto Kempes 57,000 9th (aggregate table)
Unión Santa Fe 15 de Abril 22,852 16th (aggregate table)
Vélez Sarsfield Buenos Aires José Amalfitani 45,540 5th (aggregate table)

ChampionsEdit

Since the first championship held in 1891, 28 different clubs have won the Primera División title at least once. The most successful club is River Plate, with 36 titles.[3][4] Other successful clubs are Boca Juniors with 34, Racing with 18, Independiente with 16, and San Lorenzo with 15.

Top scorersEdit

The all-time top scorer of Primera División Argentina is Paraguayan forward Arsenio Erico with 295 goals.[7] Most players on the all-time top scorers table had their golden age before the 1970s, with all of the top five all-time scorers having retired before 1973. The only player retired after that year in the top twenty list is Martín Palermo, who played for Estudiantes (LP) and Boca Juniors in Primera División.

Records and factsEdit

Teams with more seasonsEdit

The following list shows the number of seasons in the First Division only of the first 10 teams.

•Updated 16 July 2021.

Rank Club Seasons
1 River Plate 114
2 Boca Juniors 111
Independiente 111
4 Racing 110
Estudiantes (LP) 110
6 San Lorenzo 108
7 Vélez Sarsfield 102
8 Gimnasia y Esgrima (LP) 97
Huracán 97
10 Newells Old Boys 82

Media coverageEdit

In Argentina, matches are broadcast by American companies Fox Sports and Turner, which signed a contract for 5 years where both companies agreed to pay A$ 3,200 million per year. Local company Torneos, who was formerly the official broadcaster of the Argentine championship from 1985 until 2009, will take over the content production of the games for Fox and La Corte will handle content production for Turner while Cablevisión, DirecTV and Telecentro will be the TV operators.[8][49]

Until the agreement with Fox and Turner was signed, Argentine football matches were broadcast nationally by El Trece, Telefe, America TV, and Channel 7. Games were free in Argentina from 2009 to 2016, when the National Government and AFA decided rescind the agreement. The Government paid A$9,500 million for 7 years.[50]

The league attracts television audiences beyond South America and Spain. The matches are broadcast in over 80 countries; ESPN (one match per week), Fox Sports (two matches per week) and TyC Sports (eleven matches per week) broadcast live Argentine Primera División matches in Latin America. In the United States, the matches will be broadcast on Paramount+ beginning in 2021.[51] BeIN Sports broadcasts the games live in France, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and MENA regions. ITV showed highlights on a regional basis with the introduction of overnight broadcasting in 1988–89. Channel 5 showed highlights from 1999 to 2003, while Premier Sports showed live games across 2011 and 2012.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Hace 120 años, el fútbol tenía su primer torneo local" by Oscar Barnade, Clarín, 12 April 2011
  2. ^ a b 1891 Argentine Primera División at RSSSF.com
  3. ^ a b "Campeones de Primera División at AFA website". Archived from the original on 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  4. ^ a b "Torneo Argentino de Primera División – Títulos por Equipo", SobreFutbol.com
  5. ^ El abuelo y tapicero que se convertirá en el jugador con más partidos en el fútbol argentino, La Nación, 5 Nov 2014
  6. ^ A 30 AÑOS DEL RÉCORD INALCANZABLE DE HUGO GATTI, Deportea
  7. ^ a b Revista de la AFA, p. 13 Archived 2014-12-23 at the Wayback Machine, Jul 2013
  8. ^ a b Fox y Turner son los nuevos dueños del fútbol por TV en la Argentina by Alejandro González, La Nación, 14 Mar 2017
  9. ^ a b Reunión clave en el fútbol argentino: Tapia recibió a los principales dirigentes de Primera con la idea de ponerle fin a la Superliga on Infobae, 26 Feb 2020
  10. ^ "Argentina Primera Division". Archived from the original on 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  11. ^ Reglamento de la Superliga 2018–19 on AFA website
  12. ^ Historia del Fútbol Amateur en la Argentina, by Jorge Iwanczuk. Published by Autores Editores (1992) - ISBN 9504343848
  13. ^ "Salvation army", The Guardian, 4 June 2006
  14. ^ Argentina – 1ra. División 1894 by José Carluccio, 19 Nov 2008
  15. ^ "The Strongest League in the World 2015", IFFHS, retrieved 2016-06-11
  16. ^ El Gobierno dio vía libre para la vuelta del fútbol on Ámbito.com, 6 Oct 2020
  17. ^ a b c Cómo se jugará el fútbol en 2021 on Página/12, 28 Dec 2020
  18. ^ "Promedios: The Argentine relegation system explained"
  19. ^ La Superliga ya tiene fecha de largada by Daniel Avellaneda, Clarín, 3 May 2017
  20. ^ a b El fútbol que viene asomando by Gustavo Veiga, Página/12, 28 Jun 2017
  21. ^ La Superliga dio el puntapié inicial, Página/12, 28 Jul 2017
  22. ^ "Campeonatos oficiales de la Asociación" (in Spanish). AFA. 28 April 2020.
  23. ^ a b ¿CÓMO SERÁ EL NUEVO TORNEO DE PRIMERA DIVISIÓN? on El Gráfico, 19 Jan 2021
  24. ^ Cómo serán los torneos de la LPF? on TyC Sports, 29 Dec 2020
  25. ^ Memoria y Balance 1935 – Argentine Football Association Library
  26. ^ "Una Copa con mucha historia", Diario Uno, 27 June 2013
  27. ^ Historia del Fútbol Amateur en la Argentina, by Jorge Iwanczuk. Published by Autores Editores (1992) – ISBN 9504343848
  28. ^ "Salvation Army", The Guardian, 4 June 2006
  29. ^ "Final Tables Argentina 1931–1940 (Professional)" at RSSSF
  30. ^ "Final Tables Argentina 1941–1950" at RSSSF
  31. ^ a b "Final Tables Argentina 1951–1960" at RSSSF
  32. ^ a b c d "Final Tables Argentina 1961–1970" at RSSSF
  33. ^ a b c La verdadera historia de la creación de los promedios on Infobae, 31 May 2007
  34. ^ Argentina 1957 by Osvaldo J. Gorgazzi at RSSSF.com
  35. ^ La historia de los promedios en el fútbol argentino: cómo y cuándo se inventaron, Goal.com, 13 Jul 2017
  36. ^ Argentina 1967 at RSSSF.com
  37. ^ a b c "Final Tables Argentina 1981–1990" at RSSSF
  38. ^ "Final Tables Argentina 1971–1980" at RSSSF
  39. ^ El fin del Apertura y el fin del Clausura by Alejandro Rebossion on El País, 9 May 2012
  40. ^ La Promoción, una definición dramática que se despide del fútbol argentino, Infobae, 1 Jul 2012
  41. ^ "AFA: Se aprobaron los cambios en los torneos de fútbol", Radio Continental web, 9 May 2012
  42. ^ "Vélez venció a Newell's y es el Supercampeón", Clarín, 29 Dec 2013
  43. ^ "La AFA homologó la final de River como una copa nacional", Cancha Llena, 28 May 2014
  44. ^ Se sorteó el Fixture del Torneo de Transición, que arrancará en agosto y el 'Súper' en la 10ª
  45. ^ "Confirmado: El próximo torneo será con 30 equipos" on Perfil.com, 11 Nov 2014
  46. ^ "Asociación del Fútbol Argentino Boletín 4978" (PDF) (in Spanish). AFA. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  47. ^ a b Renunció Mariano Elizondo, Infobae, 10 March 2020
  48. ^ a b Quién es quién en la AFA, Clarín, 19 May 2020
  49. ^ "Ya están las ofertas por los derechos de TV del fútbol argentino". Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  50. ^ "Sin Fútbol para Todos, la TV del fútbol argentino es una incógnita". Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  51. ^ "Paramount+ adds Concacaf soccer rights ahead of US launch - SportsPro Media".

External linksEdit