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La Liga
La Liga.png
Organising bodyLiga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP)
Founded1929; 90 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
Current championsBarcelona (26th title)
(2018–19)
Most championshipsReal Madrid (33 titles)
Most appearancesAndoni Zubizarreta
(622)
Top goalscorerLionel Messi
(420)
TV partnersList of broadcasters
Websitelaliga.es
2019–20 La Liga

The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División,[a] commonly known as La Liga[b] (La Liga 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 (LFP), La Liga 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 three teams in that division.

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 33 times and Barcelona 26 times. Barcelona won the inaugural La Liga in 1929 with Athletic Bilbao claiming several titles in the league's early years. Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated the championship in the 1950s, winning four La Liga titles each throughout the decade. Real Madrid dominated La Liga from the 1960s through the 1980s, when Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, and Real Sociedad won the league twice in those years. From the 1990s onward, Barcelona has dominated La Liga, winning 16 titles. Although Real Madrid has been prominent, winning 8 titles, La Liga has also seen other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña.

According to UEFA's league coefficient, La Liga has been the top league in Europe over the last five years and has led Europe for more years (22) than any other country. It has also produced the continent's top-rated club more times (22) than any other league, more than double that of second-placed Serie A. Its clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League (18), UEFA Europa League (11), UEFA Super Cup (15), and FIFA Club World Cup (7) titles, and its players have accumulated the highest number of Ballon d'Or awards (22), The Best FIFA Men's Player including FIFA World Player of the Year (19) and UEFA Men's Player of the Year 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.[4][5]

Competition format[edit]

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 relegation[edit]

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 points[edit]

If points are equal between two or more clubs, the rules are:[6]

  • If all clubs involved have played each other twice:
    • If the tie is between two clubs, then the tie is broken using the goal difference for the two matches those clubs have played against each other (without away goals rule)
    • 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.[7] 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 competitions[edit]

Current Criteria[edit]

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 2nd Qualifying Round.[8]

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[9]
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 Spain 20.214 23.928 20.142 19.714 19.571 103.569 4 2 1
2 2 = England England 13.571 14.250 14.928 20.071 22.642 85.462 4 2 1
3 3 = Italy Italy 19.000 11.500 14.250 17.333 12.642 74.725 4 2 1
4 4 = Germany Germany 15.857 16.428 14.571 9.857 15.214 71.927 4 2 1
5 5 = France France 10.916 11.083 14.416 11.500 10.583 58.498 2 1 2 1
6 6 = Russia Russia 9.666 11.500 9.200 12.600 7.583 50.549 2 1 1 1 1
7 7 = Portugal Portugal 9.083 10.500 8.083 9.666 10.900 48.232 1 1 1 1 1
8 8 = Ukraine Ukraine 10.000 9.800 5.500 8.000 7.800 39.900 1 1 1 1 1
9 9 = Belgium Belgium 9.600 7.400 12.500 2.600 5.600 38.900 1 1 1 1 1
10 10 = Turkey Turkey 6.000 6.600 9.700 6.800 5.500 34.600 1 1 1 1 1

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

In April 1927, 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.

The 1930s: Athletic Bilbao[edit]

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

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.

The 1940s: Atlético de Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona[edit]

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,[10] 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 Dominate La Liga[edit]

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 different trophies in one year earned them the name 'L’equip de les cinc Copes'[11] 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 Ligas, 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. Madrid won the first division in 1954, 21 years later since 1933, and retained its title in 1955. They were winners again in 1957 and 1958, with only Athletic Bilbao interrupting their sequence. All in all, Barcelona and Real Madrid won 4 La Liga titles each, with Atletico De Madrid and Atletico De Bilbao winning one each during this decade.

The 1960s–1980s: The Real Madrid years[edit]

Between 1961 and 1980, Real Madrid dominated the Primera División, being crowned champions 14 times, including five in a row from 1961 to 1965 and two three-in-a-row sequences (1967–1969 and 1978–1980). However, their only European Cup triumph during this period came in 1966, a sharp contrast to their five successive victories in the competition from 1956.

During this era, only Atlético Madrid offered Real Madrid any serious challenge, adding four more titles in 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1977. Of the other clubs, only Valencia in 1971 and the Johan Cruyff-inspired Barcelona of 1974 broke the dominance of Real Madrid.

The Madrid winning sequence was interrupted more significantly in 1981 when Real Sociedad won their first-ever title. They retained it in 1982, and there were followed by fellow Basque team Athletic Bilbao, who won back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984. Terry Venables led Barcelona to a solitary title in 1985 before Real Madrid put together another five in a row sequence (1986–1990) with a team guided by Leo Beenhakker and including Hugo Sánchez and the La Quinta del BuitreEmilio Butragueño, Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel and Miguel Pardeza.[citation needed]

The 1990s: Barcelona's Dream Team[edit]

Johan Cruyff returned to Barcelona as manager in 1988, and assembled the legendary Dream Team.[12] When Cruyff took hold of this Barcelona side they had won only two La Liga titles in the past 11 years. Cruyff, who knew the history of FC Barcelona as a player, did not want history to repeat itself. He 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 such as Brazilian legend Romario, Denmark's magician Michael Laudrup, Bulgarian forward Hristo Stoichkov, Dutchman Ronald Koeman, and Spaniards Andoni Zubizarreta and Jose Mari Bakero. Cruyff's Dream Team also consisted of La Masia graduates Pep Guardiola, Albert Ferrer, and Guillermo Amor.

Johan Cruyff changed the way modern football was played and incorporated the principles of ‘Total Football’ into this team. The success of possession-based football was revolutionary 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 Primera División title in 1996 before Real Madrid added another Liga trophy 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, included their fourth double of Liga and the Copa Del Rey in 1998. All in all, Barcelona won six La Liga titles in the 1990s and continued their success through the 2000s.

New winners and Real Madrid/Barcelona dominance (2000s–present)[edit]

As Primera División entered a new century, the two giants of Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona, found themselves facing new challengers. 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 fierce team in the 2000s and under the management of Héctor Cúper, Valencia finished as Champions League runners-up in 2000 and 2001. His successor, Rafael Benítez, built on this and led the club to a Liga title in 2002, as well as winning the UEFA Cup and La Liga in 2004.

Real Madrid won two Liga titles in 2001 and 2003 and also the UEFA Champions League in 2000 and 2002. With world-class players like Raúl, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gonzalo Higuaín, Real Madrid won back-to-back La Liga titles in 2006–07 and 2007–08. All in all, Madrid won 4 La Liga's and two Champions Leagues from 2000-2010.

The 2000s also continued the success of FC Barcelona. In the 2004–05 season, Barcelona won their first title of the new century under the brilliance of Ronaldinho. Barcelona retained the title and won it again in the 2005-2006 season, as well as winning the UEFA Champions League against Arsenal, achieving their second European Double. Under the era of Pep Guardiola, powered by La Masia's talent, such as Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona added three straight Liga titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011. FC Barcelona also became the first team in Spain to achieve the Treble in the 2008/09 season, winning all three major competitions in a single season consisting of La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the Champions League. From 2000-2010, FC Barcelona won 4 La Liga titles and 2 Champions League.

In the 2011–12 season, Real Madrid won its 32nd title under the management of José Mourinho with records at the time of 100 points, 118 goals scored, and overall (32) and away (16) wins in a La Liga season. A year later in the 2012-2013 season, Barcelona replicated the same feat under coach Tito Vilanova, matching the 100-point record. Atlético Madrid won the 2013–14 title, their first in 18 years, and the first title in ten years that Real Madrid or Barcelona had not won.

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. MSN hit a record-breaking 122 goals,[13] eclipsing the 118 goals scored by Madrid in the 2011–12 season. Barcelona continued their dominance in the 2015–16 season, winning the Liga/Copa Del Rey double, resulting in 4 titles in 6 years.

Real Madrid brought back the La Liga title under the management of Zinedine Zidane in 2016–17, but Barcelona won the title in the 2017–18 season, as well as winning their eighth double,[14] for a total of 7 La Liga titles in 10 years. Barcelona retained the title yet again and won their 26th La Liga title in the 2018-2019 season, for a total of 8 La liga titles in 11 years.

Clubs[edit]

Location of Community of Madrid teams in 2019–20 La Liga

20 teams contest the league in its current season, including the top 17 sides from the 2018–19 season and three promoted from the 2018–19 Segunda División. The promoted clubs include Osasuna and Granada, promoted directly from the second division, and the winner of the promotion play-off, Mallorca.

Stadiums and locations[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Alavés Vitoria-Gasteiz Mendizorrotza 19,840[15]
Athletic Bilbao Bilbao San Mamés 53,332[16]
Atlético Madrid Madrid Wanda Metropolitano 68,000[17]
Barcelona Barcelona Camp Nou 99,354[18]
Celta Vigo Vigo Abanca-Balaídos 29,000[19]
Eibar Eibar Ipurua 7,083[20]
Espanyol Cornellà de Llobregat RCDE Stadium 40,500[21]
Getafe Getafe Coliseum Alfonso Pérez 17,000[22]
Granada Granada Nuevo Los Cármenes 19,336[23]
Leganés Leganés Butarque 12,450[24]
Levante Valencia Ciutat de València 25,354[25]
Mallorca Palma Son Moix 24,262[26]
Osasuna Pamplona El Sadar 18,570[27]
Real Betis Seville Benito Villamarín 60,720[28]
Real Madrid Madrid Santiago Bernabéu 80,000[29]
Real Sociedad San Sebastián Anoeta 32,076[30]
Sevilla Seville Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán 43,883[31]
Valencia Valencia Mestalla 49,667[32]
Valladolid Valladolid José Zorrilla 26,512[33]
Villarreal Villarreal Estadio de la Cerámica 24,500[34]

La Liga clubs in Europe[edit]

Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund, in the UEFA Champions League semifinal 2013

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, Italy's Serie A, and Germany's Bundesliga in fourth.[35]

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.[36]

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).

Champions[edit]

Performance by club[edit]

Performance by individual clubs in Primera División
Teams Winners Runners-up Winning seasons
Real Madrid
33
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
Barcelona
26
25
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
10
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 this century[edit]

Performance comparison of top teams since 2000.

Teams 99–00 00–01 01–02 02–03 03–04 04–05 05–06 06–07 07–08 08–09 09–10 10–11 11–12 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19
BAR 2 4 4 6 2 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1
RMA 5 1 3 1 4 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 3 2 2 1 3 3
VAL 3 5 1 5 1 7 3 4 10 6 3 3 3 5 8 4 12 12 4 4
ATM 19 - - 12 7 11 10 7 4 4 9 7 5 3 1 3 3 3 2 2
DEP 1 2 2 3 3 8 8 13 9 7 10 18 - 19 - 16 15 16 18 -
SEV 20 - 8 10 6 6 5 3 5 3 4 5 9 9 5 5 7 4 7 6
ATH 11 12 9 7 5 9 12 17 11 13 8 6 10 12 4 7 5 7 16 8
RSO 13 13 13 2 15 14 16 19 - - - 15 12 4 7 12 9 6 12 9
ESP 14 9 14 17 16 5 15 11 12 10 11 8 14 13 14 10 13 8 11 7
BET 18 - 6 8 9 4 14 16 13 18 - - 13 7 20 - 10 15 6 10
VIL - 7 15 15 8 3 7 5 2 5 7 4 18 - 6 6 4 5 5 14
     League champions
     Champions League
     Europa League
     Relegation

All-time La Liga table[edit]

The all-time La Liga table[37] 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 2018–19 season.[38] Teams in bold are part of the 2019–20 La Liga.

All-time La Liga 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 88 4529 2838 1690 567 581 6104 3230 33 23 10 8 3 4 81 1929 1929 1
2 Barcelona 88 4442 2838 1635 578 625 6089 3179 26 25 12 12 4 6 85 1929 1929 1
3 Atlético Madrid 82 3597 2690 1286 618 786 4647 3360 10 10 16 9 7 6 59 1929 2002–03 1
4 Valencia 84 3520 2740 1224 639 877 4514 3542 6 6 10 13 10 7 52 1931–32 1987–88 1
5 Athletic Bilbao 88 3464 2838 1232 660 946 4713 3794 8 7 10 5 8 10 49 1929 1929 1
6 Sevilla 75 2936 2484 1024 546 914 3791 3478 1 4 4 5 12 7 33 1934–35 2001–02 1
7 Espanyol 84 2894 2702 974 632 1096 3693 3976 4 5 2 5 16 1929 1994–95 3
8 Real Sociedad 72 2672 2378 891 595 892 3339 3335 2 3 2 5 4 3 19 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 53 1995 1804 638 454 712 2266 2604 1 2 3 4 5 15 1932–33 2015–16 1
11 Celta Vigo 53 1879 1774 609 410 755 2390 2747 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 43 1512 1504 473 395 636 1799 2231 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 Sporting Gijón 43 1389 1458 471 358 629 1753 2152 1 1 2 2 1 7 1944–45 2016–17 2
16 Osasuna 37 1351 1318 426 327 565 1497 1833 2 2 2 6 1935–36 2019–20 4
17 Málaga 37 1334 1293 395 335 563 1445 1824 1 1 2 1949–50 2017–18 4
18 Oviedo 38 1174 1192 408 292 492 1642 1951 3 2 2 4 11 1933–34 2000–01 3
19 Mallorca 27 1148 988 333 256 399 1182 1371 2 2 1 5 1960–61 2019–20 3
20 Villarreal 19 1075 722 294 193 235 998 891 1 1 2 4 2 10 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 Rayo Vallecano 18 694 680 197 156 327 801 1158 1977–78 2018–19 8
23 Getafe 14 667 532 177 136 219 610 697 1 1 2 2004–05 2017–18 5
24 Granada 23 667 742 218 175 349 819 1158 2 2 1941–42 2019–20 6
25 Elche 21 606 678 203 180 295 750 1022 1 1 2 1959–60 2014–15 5
26 Hércules 20 538 628 184 149 295 716 1050 1 4 5 1935–36 2010–11 5
27 Alavés 14 518 456 153 94 209 537 723 1 1 1930–31 2016–17 6
28 Tenerife 13 510 494 155 128 211 619 744 2 2 1961–62 2009–10 5
29 Levante 13 506 478 135 119 224 533 756 1 1 1963–64 2017–18 6
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 2005–06 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 Almería 6 242 228 62 56 110 244 366 2007–08 2014–15 8
38 Eibar 5 230 190 60 50 80 229 267 2014–15 2014–15 9[39]
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 Pontevedra 6 150 180 53 44 83 165 221 1963–64 1969–70 7
44 Numancia 4 148 152 37 37 78 155 253 1999–00 2008–09 17
45 Leganés 3 123 114 31 30 53 107 149 2016–17 2016–17 13
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 2018–19 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 2019–20 season
2019–20 La Liga
2019–20 Segunda División
2019–20 Segunda División B
2019–20 Tercera División
2018–19 Divisiones Regionales
Club no longer exists

All-time La Liga table (3 pts. since 1995)[edit]

All-time La Liga table (wins, 3 points)
Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 FC Barcelona 882 568 175 139 1201 1879
2 Real Madrid CF 882 561 166 155 1041 1849
3 Valencia CF 882 418 207 257 364 1461
4 Atlético de Madrid 806 385 192 229 381 1347
5 Athletic Club 882 327 242 313 –29 1223
6 Sevilla FC 768 325 177 266 130 1152
7 RCD Espanyol 882 300 237 345 –112 1137
8 Deportivo de La Coruña 806 302 227 277 12 1133
9 Real Sociedad 768 282 202 284 –1 1048
10 Villarreal CF 684 284 179 221 110 1031
11 Real Betis 730 251 206 273 –102 959
12 Celta de Vigo 654 241 168 245 –8 891
13 RCD Mallorca 608 226 151 231 –39 829
14 Málaga CF 646 208 165 273 –121 789
15 Real Zaragoza 616 191 181 244 –114 754
16 Racing de Santander 616 175 184 257 –181 709
17 CA Osasuna 570 172 153 245 –183 669
18 Real Valladolid CF 540 161 159 220 –139 642
19 Getafe CF 494 162 122 210 –104 608
20 Rayo Vallecano 426 136 83 207 –211 491
21 Levante UD 380 106 96 178 –189 414
22 Deportivo Alavés 304 105 65 134 –88 380
23 Real Sporting 350 89 79 182 –209 346
24 CD Tenerife 236 72 65 99 –68 281
25 Real Oviedo 236 66 69 101 –98 267
26 UD Almería 228 62 56 110 –123 242
27 Granada CF 228 56 51 121 –172 219
28 UD Las Palmas 190 49 44 97 –109 191
29 SD Eibar 152 49 36 67 –34 183
30 Recreativo 152 42 41 69 –67 167
31 SD Compostela 122 41 33 48 –30 156
32 CD Numancia 152 37 37 78 –98 148
33 Albacete 118 29 30 59 –57 117
34 UD Salamanca 118 27 24 67 –66 105
35 CF Extremadura 80 20 23 37 –55 83
36 CP Mérida 80 19 24 37 –45 81
37 Elche CF 76 20 21 35 –47 81
38 CD Leganés 76 20 18 38 –36 78
39 Hércules CF 80 21 13 46 –61 76
40 Real Murcia CF 76 12 20 44 –57 56
41 Girona FC 38 14 9 15 –9 51
42 Cádiz CF 38 8 12 18 –16 36
43 Xerez CD 38 8 10 20 –10 34
44 CD Logroñés 42 9 6 27 –52 33
45 Gimnàstic 38 7 7 24 –35 28
46 Córdoba CF 38 3 11 24 –46 20

Players[edit]

Eligibility of non-EU players[edit]

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 awards[edit]

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.[40] Additional awards relating to La Liga are distributed, some not sanctioned by the LFP 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.

Transfers[edit]

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 Internazionale for £152,000 (£3.3 million in 2018). Twelve years later, Johan Cruyff was the first player to join a La Liga club for a record fee, £922,000 (£11 million in 2018) from Ajax to Barcelona. In 1982, Barcelona again set the record by signing Diego Maradona from Boca Juniors for £5 million (£17 million in 2018).[41] Real Betis set the world record in 1998 when they signed Denílson from São Paulo for £21.5 million (£37.2 million in 2018).[42]

Four of the last six world transfer records have been set by Real Madrid, signing Luís Figo,[43] Zinedine Zidane,[44] Cristiano Ronaldo[45] (plus a deal for Kaká days before Ronaldo[46] which fell just below a world record due to the way the fee was calculated)[47] and finally Gareth Bale, who was bought in 2013 for £85.3m (€103.4m or $140m at the time; £96m in 2018) from Tottenham Hotspur.[48]

The Brazilian forward Neymar was the subject of an expensive and complicated transfer arrangement when he joined Barcelona from Santos in 2013,[49][50] and his outgoing transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 set a new world record fee at €222m via his buyout clause.[51] 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.[52][53]

Player records[edit]

Most goals[edit]

As of matches played 06 October 2019

Boldface indicates a player still active in La Liga.

Rank Player Club(s) Years Goals Apps Ratio
1 Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 2004– 420 455 0.92
2 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 2009–2018 311 292 1.07
3 Spain Telmo Zarra Athletic Bilbao 1940–1955 251 278 0.9
4 Mexico Hugo Sánchez Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano 1981–1994 234 347 0.67
5 Spain Raúl Real Madrid 1994–2010 228 550 0.41
6 Argentina Alfredo Di Stéfano Real Madrid, Espanyol 1953–1966 227 329 0.69
7 Spain César Rodríguez Granada, Barcelona, Cultural Leonesa, Elche 1939–1955 223 353 0.63
8 Spain Quini Sporting Gijón, Barcelona 1970–1987 219 448 0.49
9 Spain Pahiño Celta, Real Madrid, Deportivo 1943–1956 210 278 0.76
10 Spain Edmundo Suárez Valencia, Alcoyano 1939–1950 195 231 0.84

Most appearances[edit]

As of 16 September 2019
Rank Player Years Apps Goals
1 Spain Andoni Zubizarreta 1981–1998 622 0
2 Spain Raúl 1994–2010 550 228
3 Spain Eusebio Sacristán 1983–2002 543 36
4 Spain Francisco Buyo 1980–1997 542 0
5 Spain Manuel Sanchís 1983–2001 523 32
6 Spain Joaquín 2001– 520 67
7 Spain Iker Casillas 1999–2015 510 0
8 Spain Xavi 1998–2015 505 58
9 Spain Miquel Soler 1983–2003 504 12
10 Spain Fernando Hierro 1987–2003 497 104

Sponsors[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "La Liga". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "LaLiga and Santander strike title sponsorship deal". LaLiga. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División" (in Spanish). RFEF. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Attendances in India, China and the USA catching up with the major European leagues". World Soccer. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  5. ^ "European football statistics". 2008.
  6. ^ "Reglamento General de la RFEF 2010 (Artículo 201.2) (page 138)" (PDF) (in Spanish). RFEF. 7 June 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Criterios de puntuación del juego limpio" (in Spanish). RFEF. 30 October 1998. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Premier League clubs' UEFA qualification explained". Premier League. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Country Coefficients 2018/19". UEFA.com.
  10. ^ "1939-50. Years of perseverance". www.fcbarcelona.com. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  11. ^ "El 'Barça de les Cinc Copes' rompió con la furia española". La Vanguardia. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  12. ^ "1988-1996. The era of the 'Dream Team'". www.fcbarcelona.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  13. ^ Hayward, Ben. "131 to beat - Messi, Suarez & Neymar on target for more goals than ever in third season together | Goal.com". www.goal.com. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  14. ^ "LaLiga - Barcelona: Unbeatable champions: Barcelona win LaLiga with their eighth double". MARCA in English. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Mendizorroza" (in Spanish). Deportivo Alavés. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  16. ^ "The Stadium". Athletic Bilbao. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Wanda Metropolitano". Atlético Madrid. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Facilities - Camp Nou". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Facilities". Celta Vigo. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Ipurua Stadium". SD Eibar. 1 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Facilities - RCDE Stadium". RCD Espanyol. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Datos Generales" (in Spanish). Getafe CF. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Datos del Club" (in Spanish). Granada CF. 1 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Facilities - Butarque". CD Leganés. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Así luce actualmente el estadio Ciutat de València" (in Spanish). Levante UD. 1 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Son Moix Stadium". RCD Mallorca. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Instalaciones - Estadio El Sadar" (in Spanish). CA Osasuna. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Benito Villamarín Stadium". Real Betis. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Santiago Bernabéu Stadium". Real Madrid CF. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  30. ^ "Facilities - Anoeta". Real Sociedad. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  31. ^ "RAMÓN SÁNCHEZ-PIZJUÁN STADIUM". Sevilla FC. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  32. ^ "Facilities - Mestalla". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Estadio José Zorrilla" (in Spanish). Real Valladolid. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Estadio de la Cerámica" (in Spanish). Estadio de la Cerámica. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  35. ^ "UEFA ranking of European leagues". Bert Kassies. November 2017.
  36. ^ "UEFA club competitions press kit (.PDF archive, page 23)" (PDF). UEFA Official Website. Retrieved 25 August 2006.
  37. ^ "Clasificación Histórica Liga BBVA". LFP. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  38. ^ All Time Table of Spanish team in La Liga Rsssf.com
  39. ^ "Official statement". LaLiga.es. 2015.
  40. ^ "La Liga cancels 2016-17 award ceremony". ESPN.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Gareth Bale: The history of the world transfer record". BBC Sport. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  42. ^ "World Cup winner Denilson on trial at Bolton Wanderers". Daily Mail. 6 January 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  43. ^ Nash, Elizabeth (25 July 2000). "Figo defects to Real Madrid for record £36.2m". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Zidane al Real". Juventus F.C. (in Italian). 9 July 2001. Archived from the original on 6 August 2001. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  45. ^ Ogden, Mark (11 June 2009). "Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: Real Madrid agree £80 million fee with Manchester United". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  46. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (7 June 2009). "Real Madrid to confirm world record £56m signing of Kaka". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  47. ^ "Kaka completes Real Madrid switch". BBC. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  48. ^ "Gareth Bale contract leak sparks panic at Real Madrid - and agent's fury". The Telegraph (21 January 2016). 21 January 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  49. ^ "Barcelona: Neymar deal has damaged brand of La Liga club". BBC Sport. 10 March 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  50. ^ "Barcelona reveal details of deal to sign Brazil star Neymar". Sky Sports. 24 January 2014. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  51. ^ "Neymar: Paris St-Germain sign Barcelona forward for world record 222m euros". BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation. 3 August 2017. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  52. ^ "Barcelona signs Ousmane Dembele, its Neymar replacement in more ways than one". 25 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  53. ^ 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 links[edit]