The Süper Lig (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈsypæɾ liɟ], Super League) is a Turkish professional league for association football clubs. It is the top-flight of the Turkish football league system and is run by the Turkish Football Federation. Eighteen clubs compete annually, where a champion is decided and three clubs are promoted and relegated from, and to, the 1. Lig. The season runs from August to May, with each club playing 34 matches. Matches are played Friday through Monday.
|Number of teams||18|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||TFF First League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Turkish Cup
Turkish Super Cup
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Galatasaray (21st title)
|Most championships||Galatasaray (21 titles)|
|Most appearances||Oğuz Çetin (503 matches)|
|Top goalscorer||Hakan Şükür (249 goals)|
|TV partners||beIN Sports Turkey
TRT (highlights only)
beIN Sports, A+ Sport (Africa), Fox Sports Africa, SportKlub, CBC Sport, Kujtesa
|2017–18 Süper Lig|
The competition was initially established as the Millî Lig (National League) in 1959 - the first professional nationwide league competition held in Turkey. The league succeeded the Turkish Football Championship and the National Division, both being former top-level national competitions. The Super League is currently ranked 10th in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on club performances in European competitions over the last five years. A total of 67 clubs have competed in the Süper Lig, but only five have won the title so far: Galatasaray (21), Fenerbahçe (19), Beşiktaş (15), Trabzonspor (6), and Bursaspor (1).
Football in Turkey stems back to the late 19th century, when Englishmen brought the game with them while living in Salonica (then part of the Turkish Empire). The first league competition was the Istanbul Football League, which took place in the 1904–05 season. The league went through several variations until the creation of the Millî Lig (Süper Lig) in 1959. Between the creation of the Istanbul League and Millî Lig, several other regional leagues took place: Adana (1923), Ankara (1923), Eskişehir (1920), İzmir (1923), Kayseri (1936), and Trabzon (1923), to name a few. The first competition to bring forth a national champion was the Turkish Football Championship, which began in 1924 and continued until 1951. The championship format was based on a knockout competition, contested between the winners of each of the country's top regional leagues. The National Division (Turkish: Millî Küme) was the first national league competition in Turkey. Started in 1937, the Millî Küme consisted of the strongest clubs from the Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir Leagues. The championship lasted until 1950.
The Federation Cup was created in 1956 to decide a national champion. This champion would go on to participate in the European Cup. The competition was held for two years until it was replaced by the Millî Lig. Beşiktaş won both editions, and qualified for the European Cup during the two-year span. However, since the TFF failed to register their name for the draw in time, Beşiktaş could not participate in the 1957–58 season after all.
The top clubs from Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir competed in the 1959 Millî Lig. The first season took place in the calendar year of 1959, instead of 1958-59, because the qualifying stages took place in 1958. The 16 clubs who competed in the first season were: Adalet (İstanbul), Altay (İzmir), Ankaragücü, Ankara Demirspor, Beşiktaş (İstanbul), Beykoz (İstanbul), Fatih Karagümrük (İstanbul), Fenerbahçe (İstanbul), Galatasaray (İstanbul), Gençlerbirliği (Ankara), Göztepe (İzmir), Hacettepe Gençlik (Ankara), İstanbulspor, İzmirspor, Karşıyaka (İzmir Province), and Vefa (Istanbul). Only five of those clubs are currently competing in the Super League: Ankaragücü, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, and Göztepe. The first champions were Fenerbahçe and the first "Gol Kralı" (top scorer) was Metin Oktay. No clubs were promoted or relegated at the end of the first season.
The 2.Lig (Second League) was created at the start of the 1963–64 season and the Millî Lig became known as the 1.Lig (First League). Before the creation of a second division, the bottom three clubs competed with regional league winners in a competition called the Baraj Games. The top three teams of the seven-team group were promoted to the Millî Lig. After the creation of a new second division in 2001, known as the 1. Lig, the formerly titled 1. Lig was rebranded as Süper Lig. The Fenerbahçe–Galatasaray derby is the most watched football game in Turkey. It is considered to be one of the best and most intense in the world. British Daily Mail ranked it second among the ten greatest football rivalries of all-time.
There are 18 clubs in the Süper Lig. During the course of the season (from August to May) each club plays the others twice (a double round robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to-head record and then goal difference determine the winner. The three lowest placed teams are relegated to the 1. Lig and the top two teams from the 1. Lig, together with the winner of play-offs involving the third to sixth placed 1. Lig clubs are promoted in their place.
Qualification for European competitionsEdit
Qualification for European competitions is as follows: champions qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, runners-up qualify for the second qualifying round of the Champions League, third place qualifies for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, and fourth place qualifies for the second qualifying round of the same competition. A fifth spot is given to the winner of the Turkish Cup, who qualify for the play-off round of the Europa League. If the Turkish Cup winner has already qualified for European competition through their league finish, the next highest placed club in the league takes their place.
As of 19 April 2018[update]
- Sivasspor, Yeni Malatyaspor and Göztepe earned promotion from 2016–17 TFF First League. Sivasspor made an immediate return, whereas Yeni Malatyaspor were promoted to the top level for the first time in their history. Finally, Göztepe defeated Eskişehirspor in the play-off final to earn the final promotion spot.
- Çaykur Rizespor, Gaziantepspor and Adanaspor were relegated to the 2017–18 TFF First League
|Club||City||Position in 2016–17||First season
in top division
of current spell
|Sivasspor||Sivas||First League: 1st||2005–06||12||2017–18||—|
|Yeni Malatyaspor||Malatya||First League: 2nd||2017–18||1||2017–18||—|
|Göztepea||Izmir||First League: 3rd||1959||26||2017–18||—|
a Founding member of the Süper Lig
b Never been relegated from the Süper Lig
In total, 14 clubs have won the Turkish championship, including titles won before the Süper Lig's inception, namely in the Turkish Football Championship and Turkish National Division, which are denied and not counted by the Turkish Football Federation, even though they were official championships by the TFF itself. Only five clubs have been champions since the beginning of the Süper Lig era in 1959: Galatasaray 21 times, Fenerbahçe 19 times, Beşiktaş 15 times (with an additional two titles counted for star rating purposes, see note below), Trabzonspor six times, and Bursaspor once.
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning years||Runners-up years|
||21||10||1962, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018||1959, 1961, 1966, 1975, 1979, 1986, 1991, 2001, 2003, 2014|
||19||22||1959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2014||1960, 1962, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018|
||15||14||19571, 19581, 1960, 1966, 1967, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2009, 2016, 2017||1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007|
||6||8||1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984,||1978, 1982, 1983, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2011|
|Eskişehirspor||—||3||1969, 1970, 1972|
1 Beşiktaş formally requested that championships won in the 1956–57 and 1957–58 editions of the Turkish Federation Cup be counted as Turkish Professional First Division championships to the Turkish Football Federation. The ruling on this matter was announced in a press release on March 25, 2002 which indicated that the championships won by Beşiktaş in the Federation Cup would be counted as national league championships. Beşiktaş had earned the right to represent Turkey in the European Cup in the 1957–58 and 1958–59 seasons.
Star rating systemEdit
The honor of Golden Stars was introduced in football to recognize sides that have won multiple championships or other honours by the display of gold stars on their team badges and jerseys. In Turkey, clubs are permitted to place a golden star above their crest for every five national championships won. For the 2018–19 season Galatasaray are permitted four golden stars, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş are permitted three golden stars, and Trabzonspor are permitted one golden star to be placed above their crest on their jerseys.
As of 2018, 70 clubs have participated. Note: The tallies below include up to the 2017-18 season.
As of 19 May
As of 19 May 2018
- Bold denotes players still active in the league.
- All players are Turkish unless otherwise indicated.
Turkish football clubs in UEFA competitionsEdit
|European Cup / UEFA Champions League||UEFA Cup / Europa League||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||UEFA Super Cup||UEFA Intertoto Cup|
|Galatasaray||1989||1963, 1970, 2001, 2013||2000||-||-||1992||2000||-|
- Galatasaray was one of the eight teams in the group stage of the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League, however, UEFA does not consider this a quarter-final participation.
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- Dissolved in 2011 - Zonguldakspor Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine.
- Football branch dissolved in 2011.
- Dissolved in 2013
- played as İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor before 2014-15 season - İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor
- Now Turanspor
- Now Keçiörengüçü
- Became Van İl Özel İdarespor in 2004 and later closed in 2014
- Now Aydınspor 1923
- Dissolved in 2011
- Alibeyköyspor since 1971
- Dissolved in 2010 (TFF)
- (Dissolved in 2014) Siirtspor
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