Founded in 1929, the Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, known simply as La Liga, is the men’s top professional division of the Spanish football league system.
Contested by 20 teams, the 3 lowest-placed teams are relegated to the Segunda División and are replaced by the top 2 teams in that division, as well as the winner of a play-off.
Since the inception of the league, 62 teams have competed in La Liga, 9 of which have been crowned champions. Here’s everything you need to know about La Liga.
History of La Liga
In April 1927, a director at Arenas Club de Getxo, José María Acha, proposed that Spain should form a national league. Following much debate with regards to the size of the league and who should be allowed to participate, it was decided that 10 teams would form the Primera División.
As previous winners of the Copa del Rey, the following teams were selected: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo, and Real Unión. As runners-up in the Copa del Rey, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Europa also qualified, as did Racing de Santander owing to a knockout competition.
Of the founding teams, only 3 have never been relegated from the Primera División – Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao.
The Competition Format of La Liga
La Liga follows the standard double round-robin format – which is almost as thrilling as real money online pokies – in that during the course of the August to May season each club plays every other club twice for a total of 38 match days.
The competition ranking operates in the following way: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. All the teams are ranked by their total accumulated points and the team with the highest points at the end of the season is crowned the champion.
Qualification for the UEFA Champions League
The top 4 most successful teams in La Liga go on to qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League group stage and the winners of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League also qualify for the following seasons UEFA Champions League group stage.
As any single national is limited to a maximum of 5 trams, if 6 La Liga teams qualify then the lowest ranking team will instead play in the UEFA Europa League. The 5th place La Liga team automatically qualifies for the following season’s UEFA Europa League.
La Liga Record Wins
Since the inception of La Liga in 1929, the Real Madrid and Barcelona teams have both been crowned champions 33 and 25 times, respectively.
Here’s a breakdown of how many times the other teams in the Primera División have won the championship:
- Atletico Madrid: 10
- Athletic Bilbao: 8
- Valencia: 6
- Real Sociedad: 2
- Deportivo La Coruña: 1
- Sevilla: 1
- Real Betis: 1
Since the 1990s, Barcelona has dominated La Liga, winning a total of 15 titles!