|National First Division League Championship|
|XC Edition (2020-21)|
|Association||Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)|
|Foundation||10 of February 1929|
|No. of editions||90|
|Organized by||Professional Football League (LFP)|
|Champion||real Madrid FC (34 titles)|
|Matches||380 (10 for 38 days)|
|Most laureate||real Madrid FC (34 titles)|
Europa Conference League
La First division of Spain - known as LaLiga Santander for sponsorship reasons, and officially as National First Division League Championship- It is the highest male category in the Spanish league system and the main club-level competition in the country. It has been organized since 1984 by the Professional Football League (LFP) after succeeding the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). It has been held since the 1928-29 season and was interrupted on two occasions: between 1936 and 1939, due to the Spanish Civil War, and in 2020, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The First Division is, together with the Second Division, one of the only two categories with professional status in Spain, both under the protection of the LFP, while the rest of the divisions depend on the RFEF and their corresponding regional federations. The First Division is considered one of the five major European leagues along with the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga and the Ligue 1 France, occupying second place in the UEFA coefficient. On the other hand, it is considered the best league in the world according to the ranking official annual of the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), whose first place he held consecutively from 2010 to 2018. It is, in turn, the second national championship with the most titles in official international competitions worldwide and the first in Europe, by adding among its nine clubs with international honors (Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Real Zaragoza, Málaga, Villarreal and Celta de Vigo): Intercontinental (4), Club World Cups ( 7), Ibero-American Cups (1), European Cups / Champions Leagues (18), UEFA Cups / European Leagues (11), European Super Cups (15), European Cup Winners Cup (7), Intertoto Cups (5), Cups of Fairs (6) and Latin Cups (4), which makes a total of 78 titles.
Throughout its history, only nine clubs have been First Division champions; The most awarded with 34 titles is Real Madrid, followed by FC Barcelona (26), Atlético de Madrid (10), Athletic Club (8), Valencia (6), Real Sociedad (2) and Betis, Sevilla and Deportivo de La Coruña with a single title. The record for goals in the same season is held by Real Madrid with 121, a figure reached in 2011-12, while the record for points is 100, achieved consecutively by Real Madrid also in that 2011-12 campaign and by Barcelona the following 2012-13.
Spanish First Division football clubs
Background and early years
FOUNDATION RULES OF THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
1.º Partners must The Spanish Championship will be played by elimination in two games. The regional champions, the runners-up and the third-placed from Vizcaya, Catalonia, Guipúzcoa and Centro (there would be a total of 32 clubs) will have access to it.
2.º Partners must The League Championship will be played in a double game all against all and a double round in two Divisions. The First will be made up of ten clubs: the six champions of Spain, the three runners-up and the winner of a tournament among the following ten teams: Sevilla, Eibar, Alavés, Betis, Celta, Deportivo, Racing de Santander, Valencia, Real Oviedo and Sporting de Gijón. The tournament will be by elimination rounds, with a pure draw, a single match and on a neutral field until a champion is proclaimed.
3.º Partners must The nine eliminated will form the Second Division with a tenth club that will be classified among all those who register with that intention.
—Extraordinary Assembly of the Spanish Federation. November 23, 1928. Madrid.
From the beginning of the 1901th century, due to the growing popularity of soccer, the first regional championships began to emerge in Spain, such as the Macaya Cup in Catalonia in 1902, and national ones, such as the Coronation Cup in 1927. Success This last tournament led to the creation the following year of the Spanish Championship (later known as the King's Cup) and various Regional Championships throughout the national territory. In this way, a system was established that lasted a quarter of a century, according to which regional champions qualified to play the national tournament. This is the reason why even today the Copa del Rey champions (and not the Liga champions) are called "champions of Spain." However, with the establishment of professionalism in Spanish football, it was considered appropriate to create a league championship similar to the one already existing in England, both for competitive reasons and for economic profitability. A first experience, in the 28-XNUMX season, did not come to fruition due to the discrepancies between the regional federations and the clubs, divided between the so-called "maximalists" (those who had been national champions) and the "minimalists" (those who had been national champions). they had only been regional champions.) Shortly after, the nicknames were exchanged, understanding that the former wanted a minimum league (with few participants) and the latter, a maximum league (with the largest number of teams). So, the one that should be the first Spanish Foot-Ball League professional split into two unfinished competitions: the Tournament of Champions and the Maximum League, without being able to resolve the quarrels until the following season.
After numerous meetings, an agreement was finally reached to establish the first regular tournament and it was divided into two categories: the National First Division League Championship and the Second Division. To determine which teams would be part of the first edition of the highest category, it was decided to invite the six champions (Athletic Club, Arenas de Guecho, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad [as a successor to Ciclista FC], FC Barcelona and the Real Unión) and three of the six "only runners-up" (Athletic Club de Madrid, Español and Europa) that had had until then the so-called Spanish Championship. Two of the other three runners-up that the Spanish Championship had had at that time (the Madrid Spanish and Gimnástica Española) had already disappeared and the third (Spain from Barcelona) was going through a critical situation that meant their absorption precisely by Europe for just three more years. late. Thus, between champions and runners-up of the Spanish Championship, the participants of the new First Division added an odd number, which would have to be completed with one of the clubs that would have been regional champions without having reached the national final. The tenth team to complete the calendar was Real Santander Racing, which won in a previous qualifying tournament created for this purpose, and the other regional champions (Sevilla, Iberia, Alavés, Betis, Celta, Deportivo, Valencia, Real Oviedo and Sporting de Gijón ) were relegated to being founders of the Second Division.
FC Barcelona was proclaimed winner of the competition after snatching first place from Real Madrid FC on the last day of a championship dominated almost entirely by Madrid, and in which they were the first leaders of the competition. A promotion system was also established to determine which teams were promoted or descended from category, remaining in force since then. Real Santander RC won the permanence of Sevilla FC, winner of the Second Division. Barcelona's José Pitus Prat, a member of Español, scored the first goal in history, and Alfonso Olaso of Athletic Club de Madrid scored the first own goal. The top scorer in the initial championship was Paco Bienzobas, from Real Sociedad, from Gipuzkoa, with 17 goals in 18 games. This team was the least thrashed, conceding only 16 goals in 18 games. The success of the first season gave continuity to the competition. In the 1934-35 season the number of teams was expanded to twelve for the first time. The competition was suspended after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and resumed at the end of it with the same teams that were present before the interruption. In that interval, only Betis in 1935 managed to unseat Athletic Club (with three titles it was the first club to revalidate the title), Madrid FC (with two, consecutively) and FC Barcelona (with one). .
After the stoppage due to the armed conflict, sports competitions in the country were resumed, and so did the league championship. Atlético and Valencia entered the list of champions before Athletic Club from Bilbao won its fourth title and dominated the historical record. However, the Basques suffered from the post-war period, like many other teams, and the following season they registered the worst performance of a current champion: they finished in tenth position and only two points from the permanence tie. In the same way it affected other champions: Real Madrid CF and CF Barcelona were also on the verge of relegation; the Madrilenians avoided the permanence phase and the Catalans disputed it and won to confirm their permanence.
Sevilla also entered the group of champions by winning the 1945-46 edition. Until then, seven different champions were registered in fifteen seasons, giving view of the equality of the championship. However, since then a clear dominance of Real Madrid began to be noticed, thanks above all to the arrival at the club of foreign player Alfredo Di Stéfano.It was precisely the Madrid club that introduced the numbers to Spanish football, a circumstance adopted in England some time ago, when they were premiered at the beginning of the 1947-48 season in a match against Atlético de Madrid at the Metropolitan Stadium. The rest of the teams gradually adopted them.
Inclusion of foreign soccer players
The inclusion of foreign players was from its origins a controversial issue. In the first edition of the championship it was agreed that only foreign players who were professionals and who had been playing for a minimum of two years in Spain could play the championship. For this reason, very few, no more than three or four, were able to play this first league. They settled down little by little until, in 1940, football, like the rest of society, suffered what was known as a "Spanishization." The victory of the national side over the republican brought several changes in the life of the country. Football, of English origin and terminology, was affected by the Order of May 16, 1940, which called for the prohibition of writing signs, signs, advertisements, proclamations or the use of foreign generic words or in a language other than the Castilian. Once the federations and civil registries were informed, terms such as football, equipiers, off side o goal while others such as football, soccer, club or defense settled, to name a few. The names of the clubs, the most obvious reviews, were the most affected as they were foreign and especially anglicized.The political overtones of the regime in football gave some clubs some freedom to seek greater international recognition over the years. Thus in Galicia and in the Basque Country some historical denominations were recovered until finally in 1972 the liberalization of terms was allowed; many recovered their old name, although many others kept the current one.
At the beginning of the 1950s, there was a refusal to join foreign players clubs, a circumstance allowed since it was approved by the Spanish Federation in 1947. Although it is true that there were foreign players previously, it should be noted that it was earlier to the professionalization of Spanish football and the establishment of the league championship. After him, few were incorporated, barely 4% of the total number of players, and they were always in revised situations. However, after a ban by the National Sports Delegation, mobilizations began to reverse the situation. The regional federations, as representatives of the First Division clubs, again urged the importation of foreign players. Seconded by the Royal Spanish Federation, it was believed that these characters were suitable for the growth and prestige of Spanish football. However, the idea had detractors such as Atlético de Bilbao, Sevilla, Osasuna, Real Sociedad and representatives of the Guipuzcoana Federation and the Navarra Federation, believing that it would have a negative impact on the national product and on the quarries and It would favor the European Cup, a competition still disputed by some clubs, but in which other international associations and UEFA did allow their clubs to hire foreign players for their dispute.
Below are some of the positions of the clubs regarding re-incorporating foreign players:
“FIF A, eliminated the Organizing Committee of the European Cup and this tournament later took on a terrifying importance. A foreign player imported by Real Madrid was loaned out in one year for twenty-something charity games. The most important thing is to remove from football that character of rabid regionalism that turns matches into battles. More sportsmanship and less partisanship ”.Santiago Bernabeu. President of the Real Madrid Football Club.
“We are in favor of the importation of foreign players. But not only consecrated internationals, but young promises. Thus the view of the clubs will work and not only the powerful will be able to make good acquisitions, but also the less economically strong on condition of good information and good sense ”.Francesc Miró-Sans. President of the Barcelona Football Club.
“He has just fallen into a serious mistake that will do a lot of damage to football by accelerating its conversion into a mere spectacle. We are a rabidly Spanish team and we defend the essences of sport in Spain ”.Enrique Guzman. President of Atlético de Bilbao.
“It is a mistake to overestimate the importance of a tournament like the European Cup, which does not have official approval and is strictly speaking a rehearsal. The important thing is to develop the authentic national sport, to strengthen the team, which has not been able to give us victories for a long time, and not to accentuate the economic and sporting gap between the three or four big clubs and the others. With the reopening of imports, all this will worsen ”.Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. President of the Sevilla Football Club.
Thus, with a relative majority, the Spanish Federation presented an appeal to the agreement formulated by the National Sports Delegation to reconsider its provision of August 22, 1953, signed by General Moscardó, which prohibited the hiring of foreign players. It was finally arranged that each club could hire two players, of which at least one must be Hispanic-American or Filipino, and as long as they did not compete in the Spanish Cup Championship. It should be noted that another of the main triggers of This prohibition was that of the "Di Stéfano case" after a dispute over his signing between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The resolution, at the request of the federations and because the ban did not produce notable improvements in the Spanish team, also established limits and payment fees based on the capacity of the stadium itself so as not to distort national football too much or harm clubs. minors.
Later it was established that only the so-called natives could compete, that is, foreigners who were nationalized or who proved they had a Spanish family background. The so-called regulation of the natives was, however, the subject of many controversies and the origin of corruption. For this reason, it was finally abolished in 1974 and the participation of two foreigners per club was authorized, and later it was expanded in the XNUMXs.
Since then there has been a boom in hiring, which was increased decades later by the "Bosman case" of free transfer of players between member states of the European Union and without restriction of the number of foreigners in the clubs, until it was restricted to a maximum of three later. Thus with everything, since the establishment of the championship more than 3500 players have participated in the competition. Atlético de Madrid is the one that has hired the most foreigners throughout its history, with 182 (30% of the total of its historical footballers In contrast, Athletic Club, curiously the club from which the people of Madrid come, have only had seven foreigners: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are the most represented nationalities behind Spain.
Birth of the LFP
Despite the fact that Spanish football had been professionalized since the beginning of the competition, it was not until the 1984-85 season that the Spanish First Division entered into a new restructuring. The RFEF, which until then was in charge of organizing the tournament, transferred its powers to the recently created National Professional Football League (LFP), an independent body, at the initiative of the clubs themselves after disagreements with the national federation regarding the management of professionalization and the economic distribution of the benefits of the championship. Since then the competition became known as The League, formerly the National League Championship and denomination relegated to the background.In spite of this, the body is part of the RFEF although with legal autonomy and is made up of all First and Second Division clubs, the considered professional leagues in Spain.
Two seasons later it was tried to try to increase competitiveness (without success, since it lasted until June and did not achieve the intended objectives) one of the most significant reforms in its history: the play-off system to elucidate the champion and the descents, in force in some European championships. Once the so-called regular league of the corresponding 34 days was over, the then 18 participating clubs were divided into three groups of six teams for the final resolutions in ten more days. For this reason, this campaign was the longest in history, with 44 days. A single team descended and three were promoted, so the following year a 20-team championship began, a format that was briefly expanded to 22 for two years due to extra-sports issues.
In the summer of 1995, the LFP decided to exclude Celta de Vigo and Sevilla from its competitions for the 1995-96 season and relegate them administratively to the Second Division "B" due to various defects in their registration documentation, the next day to meet the deadline for delivery. Simultaneously, Valladolid and Albacete, two teams relegated to the Second Division at the conclusion of the previous championship, were invited to occupy the Galician and Sevilla squad and formalized their registration.
The two affected clubs presented appeals based on the General Law of Administration and Common Administrative Procedure, considering that the LFP had violated the right of both entities to correct, once notified, the documentary deficiencies of a file delivered on time. For their part, people from Valladolid and Albacete also presented their allegations to the Higher Sports Council (CSD) considering the Administrative Procedure Law unenforceable because the LFP and the RFEF are private entities, thus demanding that their category be recognized once the invitation is accepted. received and formalized the registration as required.
At the same time, and as a measure of pressure, there were important mobilizations on the part of the fans of the clubs involved and, even, from the CSD political pressure was denounced.
With the CSD and the Royal Spanish Federation inhibited, the final decision was left to the discretion of the plenary session of the Assembly of the National Professional Football League, which met in a live televised session. Maintaining the exclusion of Celta de Vigo and Sevilla meant the risk of a judicial paralysis of the competitions and the certain threat of millionaire compensation to clubs involved, sponsors and commercial partners (television); Similar risks were looming if those excluded were Valladolid and Albacete, who, complementing the procedures after the invitation received, argued that they had acquired the right to participate in the highest category. After the crude intervention of the president of Compostela, José María Caneda, who brought up the dubious management of the organism, the Assembly's agreement was achieved by acclamation with a compromise solution that consisted of increasing by two the number of teams participating in the league tournament, lasting until 42 matches during the next two seasons. The solution implied modifying the number of promotions and demotions from the 1996-97 season, in which four teams were relegated, only two were promoted, and the third-placed in Second played against the fifth worst in First in the promotion; The fourth classified in Second was also financially compensated for depriving him of the possibility of contesting the promotion. In return, as of the 1999-2000 season, the promotion was eliminated and the number of promotions and direct descents between the First and Second Division per season was increased by one (from two to three).
Subsequently, in the 2014-15 season there was a similar case with the administrative decline of Elche decreed by the LFP for non-payment of debts of the Elche club to the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT), but in this case the Situation after recourse to justice: Eibar, who had relegated sportingly that same season, was re-caught to play the new 2015-16 season.
During the 1990s the competition began to be called the "league of stars" due to the incipient number of established footballers who began to arrive in Spain, and who, together with those who were already in the country, began to give a great projection to international competition. The appearance of private televisions in Spain and the pay-per-view system, thanks to which clubs greatly increased their income thanks to the broadcasting contracts of televised matches, encouraged expansion. It was one of the main reasons that allowed them to hire many of the best footballers in the world, who during the last decades used to visit England and Italy. Circumstances, however, were to the detriment of the Spanish players who saw more and more players of different nationalities arrive. This event reached its highest point when for the first time a club aligned eleven players of different nationality in its starting team, in the match between Granada Club de Fútbol - the one involved - and Real Betis Balompié, in the match corresponding to the Matchday 23 of the 2016-17 season. The same club also formed with an eleven without Spaniards, like Atlético de Madrid in 2008, or Sevilla Fútbol Club in 2016 to name a few. To alleviate these circumstances, Also occurring in other countries such as Italy, UEFA began in the mid-2000s to establish a series of regulations to comply with in order to play continental competitions and have repercussions on national championships, such as that a team must compulsorily register a team at least four players trained in the club's country of origin, and that at least two have been trained in their respective lower categories, subsequently increasing the figures to eight players in total al, and at least four from the quarry itself.
Saving the case, the competition began to have a great growth, until it got to position itself as one of the leading leagues in the world. According to the annual classification made by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), the First Division of Spain ended the year 2015 considered as the best football league in the world, since it also held in the 2000s, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, more than any other since this ranking was made.
In need of income to maintain its projection, it signed its first sponsorship agreement in the 2008-09 campaign similar to the English Premier League, a benchmark in this regard and the one with the highest profits worldwide. Due to this, it changed its name for the first time after a three-year agreement between the National Professional Football League and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, adopting the name of Liga BBVA —A qualification that had been used during the two previous seasons by the Second Division—. The agreement lasted until the 2016-17 campaign, when it was renamed LaLiga Santander, following an agreement with Banco Santander.
This was one of the agreements under the presidency of the LFP of Javier Tebas, who until then was in charge of jointly negotiating the audiovisual rights of the 30 First and Second Division clubs in search of a more equitable distribution among all and save the already growing distances between professional teams. The sponsorship followed the president's line of cleaning up the competition and the clubs at an economic and social level, while continuing with their expansion and growth. The high indebtedness of the clubs led to the imposition of strict measures of economic and financial control. , And despite the criticisms raised in the first instance, it helped the clubs reduce 25% of the total debt maintained with the Tax Agency, which went from 647 million euros to 482 million in a period of 12 months. greater control, equitable distributions were stabilized and agreements were signed focused on booming international markets that reported new ways of entry, thus modifying schedules and focusing the diffusions abroad, especially towards Asia and America.
Midway through the 2019-20 championship, there was an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, a global viral pandemic that reached Europe from Asia. As different countries of the continent were registering cases of contagion and deaths, the Sports organizations began to take preventive measures and although only one of the matches scheduled in Spain was played behind closed doors (without an audience), to stop its progress, concern and contagions did not cease, and there were cases in soccer players and managers from various clubs. Faced with the panorama, the League decided to suspend the competition pending new events, as UEFA already did with the Champions League and the Europa League, and CONI and FIGC with the Italian championship, to name similar cases. After an improvement after months of confinement to the population to curb infections, the government decreed that the competitions could resume their activity, and was finally able to conclude on July 19 after the dispute of the pending days. Because of this, it was the longest league in the tournament's history.
Throughout the history of the competition, sixty-two different teams have participated, only three of which have always remained in the first category since its inaugural edition. They are Athletic Club, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF. These three also, together with CA Osasuna, are the only ones that continue to be sports entities owned by their partners instead of sports corporations owned by shareholders, a privilege granted by having obtained in the audits carried out by the LFP since the 1985 season. -86 a positive net equity balance and exceptionally until the date of the introduction of Law 10/1990 on Sports. As soon as any of these entities incur losses, they will be required by law to become SAD.
In addition to the three aforementioned teams that have always played in the First Division, there are only six other teams in Spain that have never participated in a category lower than the Second, therefore also always participating in professional football: Valencia CF, Club Atlético de Madrid, RCD Espanyol, Sevilla FC, Real Sporting de Gijón and Real Sociedad de Fútbol.
The oldest playing field in Spain in the competition is the Mestalla Stadium, with origins in 1923 and used by Valencia CF, surpassing by just one month the El Madrigal Stadium of Villarreal Club de Fútbol. , Atlético de Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano, and Athletic Club's San Mamés Stadium are the most innovative venues in the competition. The latter replaced the previous stadium of the same name, which was the only one that hosted all editions of the First Division until its demolition in 2013, at which time the Valencian stadium became the one that has hosted the most editions of the competition with 85.
Although in the first years only ten teams participated, later on, the number gradually increased to the current twenty teams. The number of twenty-two was also reached during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons.
Get the Funds!
|2020-21 season teams|
|Deportivo Alavés||Granada Football Club|
|Athletic Club||Sports Society Huesca|
|Club Atlético de Madrid||Lift Sports Union|
|Fútbol Club Barcelona||Osasuna Athletic Club|
|Real Betis Balompie||Real Madrid Football Club|
|Cádiz Football Club||Royal Society of Football|
|Real Club Celta de Vigo||Sevilla Football Club|
|Eibar Sports Society||Valencia Football Club|
|Elche Football Club||Real Valladolid Football Club|
|Getafe Football Club||Villarreal Football Club|
Among the participants, the Sociedad Deportiva Huesca is the newest team in the championship by playing its second season in the highest category,
in contrast to Athletic Club, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol and Fútbol Club Barcelona, who have played in all editions of the championship.
La Liga clubs in Europe
The First Division currently ranks first in UEFA's European league rankings based on its performance in European competitions over a five-year period, ahead of the English Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A in fourth place.
Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Seville and Valencia are five of the most successful teams in the history of European competition; These five are the only Spanish clubs to have won five or more international trophies. Deportivo La Coruña is the fifth Spanish team that participates the most in the Champions League with Sevilla, after Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Atlético de Madrid, with five consecutive appearances in the Champions League, including a semi-final in 2003- 04..
In 2005-06, Barcelona won the Champions League and Seville 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 August 25, 2015, La Liga became the first league to qualify five teams for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
The Spanish First Division is a tournament organized and regulated (jointly with the Second Division) by the National Professional Football League (LFP), whose members are the participating clubs themselves.
The competition is held annually, beginning in late August or early September, and ending in May or June of the following year.
The First Division consists of a single group made up of twenty teams, belonging to football clubs or sports corporations (SAD). Following a league system, the twenty teams face each other on two occasions, one in their own field and the other in the opposite field for a total of 38 days. The order of the matches is decided by lottery before the start of the competition.
The final classification is established according to the total points obtained by each team at the end of the championship. Teams score three points for each game won, one point for each tie, and no points for games lost. If at the end of the championship two teams equal points, the mechanisms to tie the tie are as follows:
- The one with the greatest difference between goals for and against according to the result of the matches played between them.
- The one with the highest goal difference in favor taking into account all those obtained and received during the course of the competition.
- The club that has scored the most goals.
If the tie on points is between three or more clubs, the successive tie-breaking mechanisms are as follows:
- The best score corresponding to each one according to the results of the matches played against each other by the clubs involved.
- The greatest difference in goals for and against, considering only the matches played against each other by the clubs involved.
- The greatest difference in goals for and against taking into account all the matches of the championship.
- The highest number of goals in favor taking into account all the matches of the championship.
- The highest ranked club according to the fair play standards.
The team that scores the most points at the end of the championship will be proclaimed League champion and will obtain the automatic right to participate in the group stage of the next edition of the UEFA Champions League, along with the runner-up, the third-placed and the fourth classified. The fifth classified will obtain the right to participate in the round of play-off of the next UEFA Europa League and, the sixth, in the third round of the same. If in the Copa del Rey the champion is among the six best classified, the seventh classified will obtain the right to play the third previous round of the next edition of the Europa League. In addition, the champion and runner-up compete in the Spanish Super Cup, facing the finalists of the Copa del Rey that same season.
The last three teams will descend to the Second Division and, from this, the first two classified and a third winner of a knockout system will reciprocally promote, thus replacing the relegated teams. The third promotion from the Second Division determined by the knockout system will be the winner of a final composed of the winner of the tie between the third and sixth highest ranked, and the winner of the tie between the fourth and fifth best ranked. The heats will be played in the first leg on the field of the worst classified in the regular competition. This system was introduced in the 2010-11 season, while previously the third best ranked directly promoted.
Until the 1998-99 season, the last two classified were down directly, and the 17th and 18th were playing a promotion facing the third and fourth classified of the Second Division, respectively. The winners of those games managed to play in the First Division the following season and the losers played in the Second Division.
In the 1986-87 season, a system of eliminatory which, at the end of the regular season, divided the teams into three groups of six sets each according to the classification they had obtained after the 34 ordinary days. Six fought for the title, six for the League Cup and the remaining six fought to avoid relegation. The points obtained in the qualifying rounds were added to those obtained in the regular league.
The clubs can line up the players who have previously been registered, having a maximum of 25 federative cards. Of these, only three may correspond to non-EU foreign footballers; that is, players whose nationality does not correspond to the countries of the European Union. In matches, these three non-EU members can line up simultaneously.
There are two open periods for the registration of footballers: the first, before the start of the competition (July and August) and, the second, in the middle of the season (during the month of January). Outside of these periods, registrations are only authorized, exceptionally, if a player leaves due to injury with an estimated period of inactivity of more than five months.
Regardless of the 25 professional footballers registered, the clubs can line up the players of their subsidiary and lower categories in an unlimited way if they are under twenty-three years of age and do not have a professional license. If, on the other hand, they are over twenty-three years old, the regulations prevent them from returning to act in a lower category team if they play more than ten games in the First Division.
Sports justice issues are the responsibility of the Royal Spanish Football Federation through its Sports Discipline Committees: Competition Committee, Competition Judges and Appeal Committee. The Competition Committee decides weekly the sanctions for footballers. The players are sanctioned with a suspension game in case of accumulating five cautions throughout the championship. Likewise, those footballers sent off during a match are suspended.
The referees of each match are appointed by a commission created for this purpose and made up of representatives of the LFP and the RFEF.
Current regulations on foreign players
Each club can register 25 players in the league each season, of which only three can have nationality outside the countries of the European Union. European legislation does not make a distinction between players of Spanish nationality and nationals of any other country in the Union.
In the 1990s, the participation of a third foreigner per team was authorized and, later, a fourth with the condition that only three coincided at the same time on the field of play. With the Bosman ruling of 1995, which opened the doors of the League to all Europeans, the number of non-EU places per club was reduced to three. However, this caused Spanish clubs to receive a large number of foreigners, especially Latin Americans, who often process a community passport given their European ancestry.
Today, Athletic Club is the only team that does not sign players not born in the Basque Country and the so-called Basque provinces or trained in the quarry of a Basque club.The club has maintained this custom since 1911.
There have been several cases of coaches who have forgotten this rule. In the 2003-04 season, the Real Racing Club de Santander coach, Lucas Alcaraz, lined up four non-EU citizens on the field for two minutes at the same time in the match played against CA Osasuna on December 14, 2003. This This action earned Racing losing the point obtained in that match and an economic sanction, as well as a suspension for the coach. Other similar situations occurred with Jorge Valdano as the protagonist on two occasions: once, with Real Madrid in 1994 and, the second, in a match between Valencia CF and Racing de Santander in the 1997-98 season; or with Sergije Krešić in a match between Real Valladolid CF and Real Betis Balompié.
In 2005 the regulations changed and only allowed clubs to have three non-EU members on the squad. This affected several clubs that had already filled the four positions allowed until then. This was the case of FC Barcelona, which had on its squad (in addition to several players with a community passport) the Brazilian Ronaldinho, the Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o and the Mexican Rafael Márquez, with which Lionel Messi could not participate in the League matches until after processing your dual nationality.
- For a better detail of each edition see History of the First Division of Spain
Despite the fact that 63 different teams have played in the First Division throughout its history, so far only nine clubs have been able to win the tournament: Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, 34 times, which was even five-time champion 2 times (1960 -65 and 1985-90); Fútbol Club Barcelona, at 26; Club Atlético de Madrid, at 10; Athletic Club, at 8; Valencia Football Club, at 6; Real Sociedad de Fútbol, in 2 and Real Betis Balompié, Sevilla Fútbol Club and Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, in one.
Even so, in the last 36 seasons, two teams (FC Barcelona and Real Madrid) have captured the championships 31 times. This hegemony is repeated in other international leagues: the Portuguese Football League, where the Sport Lisboa and Benfica teams and the Futebol Clube do Porto have been champions in 33 of the last 36 years; the Egyptian League, where Al-Ahly stands out with 40 of the 59 championships; and the Scottish Premiership, where Celtic Football Club and Rangers Football Club collect 103 of the 122 titles (including the last 33). A common fact in the major European leagues, where the 14 of the last 17 titles are added for Football Club Internazionale or Juventus Football Club in Serie A; or 14 of the last 20 for Fußball-Club Bayern in the Bundesliga.
Note: Names and flags of the teams according to the time.
|National First Division League Championship|
|1928-29||FC Barcelona (1)||Real Madrid FC||Athletic Club||First professional championship
|1929-30||Athletic Club (1)||FC Barcelona||Getxo Sands||Undefeated champion
|1930-31||Athletic Club (2)||Real Santander RC||Real Sociedad|
|1931-32||Madrid FC (1)||Athletic Club||FC Barcelona||Undefeated champion
|1932-33||Madrid FC (2)||Athletic Club||Spanish CD|
|1933-34||Athletic Club (3)||Madrid FC||RC Santander|
|1934-35||Betis Balompie (1)||Madrid FC||Oviedo FC||League expanded to 12 teams
|1935-36||Athletic Club (4)||Madrid FC||Oviedo FC|
|1936-37||Not contested by the Spanish Civil War|
|1939-40||Athletic Aviation (1)||Sevilla FC||Athletic Club||Re-establishment of the competition
|1940-41||Athletic Aviation (2)||Athletic Club||Valencia CF|
|1941-42||Valencia CF (1)||real Madrid FC||Athletic Aviation||League expanded to 14 teams
|1942-43||Athletic Bilbao (5)||Sevilla CF||CF Barcelona||First owned trophy awarded
|1943-44||Valencia CF (2)||Athletic-Aviation||Sevilla CF|
|1944-45||CF Barcelona (2)||real Madrid FC||Athletic-Aviation|
|1945-46||Sevilla CF (1)||CF Barcelona||Athletic Bilbao|
|1946-47||Valencia CF (3)||Athletic Bilbao||Atletico Madrid|
|1947-48||CF Barcelona (3)||Valencia CF||Atletico Madrid|
|1948-49||CF Barcelona (4)||Valencia CF||real Madrid FC|
|1949-50||Atletico Madrid (3)||RCD La Coruña||Valencia CF|
|1950-51||Atletico Madrid (4)||Sevilla CF||Valencia CF||League expanded to 16 teams
|1951-52||CF Barcelona (5)||Athletic Bilbao||real Madrid FC|
|1952-53||CF Barcelona (6)||Valencia CF||real Madrid FC||Second property trophy awarded
|1953-54||real Madrid FC (3)||CF Barcelona||Valencia CF|
|1954-55||real Madrid FC (4)||CF Barcelona||Athletic Bilbao|
|1955-56||Athletic Bilbao (6)||CF Barcelona||real Madrid FC|
|1956-57||real Madrid FC (5)||Sevilla CF||CF Barcelona|
|1957-58||real Madrid FC (6)||Atletico Madrid||CF Barcelona|
|1958-59||CF Barcelona (7)||real Madrid FC||Athletic Bilbao|
|1959-60||CF Barcelona (8)||real Madrid FC||Athletic Bilbao|
|1960-61||real Madrid FC (7)||Atletico Madrid||Real Zaragoza||Third owned trophy awarded
|1961-62||real Madrid FC (8)||CF Barcelona||Atletico Madrid|
|1962-63||real Madrid FC (9)||Atletico Madrid||Real Oviedo CF|
|1963-64||real Madrid FC (10)||CF Barcelona||Real Betis Balompie||Fourth owned trophy awarded
|1964-65||real Madrid FC (11)||Atletico Madrid||Real Zaragoza||Consecutive championship record
|1965-66||Atletico Madrid (4)||real Madrid FC||CF Barcelona|
|1966-67||real Madrid FC (12)||CF Barcelona||Spanish RCD|
|1967-68||real Madrid FC (13)||CF Barcelona||UD Las Palmas|
|1968-69||real Madrid FC (14)||UD Las Palmas||CF Barcelona||Fifth property trophy awarded
|1969-70||Atletico Madrid (5)||Athletic Bilbao||Sevilla CF|
|1970-71||Valencia CF (4)||CF Barcelona||Atletico Madrid|
|1971-72||real Madrid FC (15)||Valencia CF||CF Barcelona||League expanded to 18 teams
|1972-73||Atletico Madrid (6)||FC Barcelona||Spanish RCD|
|1973-74||FC Barcelona (9)||Atletico Madrid||Real Zaragoza|
|1974-75||real Madrid FC (16)||Real Zaragoza||FC Barcelona|
|1975-76||real Madrid FC (17)||FC Barcelona||Atletico Madrid|
|1976-77||Atletico Madrid (7)||FC Barcelona||Athletic Club|
|1977-78||real Madrid FC (18)||FC Barcelona||Athletic Club|
|1978-79||real Madrid FC (19)||Real Sporting de Gijon||Atletico Madrid||Sixth property trophy awarded
|1979-80||real Madrid FC (20)||Real Sociedad||Real Sporting de Gijon|
|1980-81||Real Sociedad (1)||real Madrid FC||Atletico Madrid|
|1981-82||Real Sociedad (2)||FC Barcelona||real Madrid FC|
|1982-83||Athletic Club (7)||real Madrid FC||Atletico Madrid|
|1983-84||Athletic Club (8)||real Madrid FC||FC Barcelona|
|National League of Professional Football of the First Division|
|1984-85||FC Barcelona (10)||Atletico Madrid||Athletic Club||The LFP succeeds the RFEF as organizer
|1985-86||real Madrid FC (21)||FC Barcelona||Athletic Club|
|1986-87||real Madrid FC (22)||FC Barcelona||Spanish RCD||League with final play-off
|1987-88||real Madrid FC (23)||Real Sociedad||Atletico Madrid||League expanded to 20 teams. Seventh Property Trophy Awarded
|1988-89||real Madrid FC (24)||FC Barcelona||Valencia CF|
|1989-90||real Madrid FC (25)||Valencia CF||FC Barcelona||Consecutive championship record equaled
|1990-91||FC Barcelona (11)||Atletico Madrid||real Madrid FC|
|1991-92||FC Barcelona (12)||real Madrid FC||Atletico Madrid|
|1992-93||FC Barcelona (13)||real Madrid FC||RCD La Coruña||Eighth property trophy awarded
|1993-94||FC Barcelona (14)||RCD La Coruña||Real Zaragoza|
|1994-95||real Madrid FC (26)||RCD La Coruña||Real Betis Balompie||Last season with 2 points per win, going from now to 3 per win
|1995-96||Atletico Madrid (8)||Valencia CF||FC Barcelona||League expanded to 22 teams. Installation of personalized numbers. Substitutions increased to 3 players
|1996-97||real Madrid FC (27)||FC Barcelona||RCD La Coruña||Establishment of the «Bosman law»
|1997-98||FC Barcelona (15)||Athletic Club||Real Sociedad||League reduced to 20 teams
|1998-99||FC Barcelona (16)||real Madrid FC||RCD Mallorca|
|1999-00||RCD La Coruña (1)||FC Barcelona||Valencia CF||Establishment of direct descent of 3 teams
|2000-01||real Madrid FC (28)||RCD La Coruña||RCD Mallorca|
|2001-02||Valencia CF (5)||RCD La Coruña||real Madrid FC|
|2002-03||real Madrid FC (29)||Real Sociedad||RCD La Coruña|
|2003-04||Valencia CF (6)||FC Barcelona||RCD La Coruña|
|2004-05||FC Barcelona (17)||real Madrid FC||Villarreal CF|
|2005-06||FC Barcelona (18)||real Madrid FC||Valencia CF||Ninth Property Trophy Awarded
|2006-07||real Madrid FC (30)||FC Barcelona||Sevilla FC|
|2007-08||real Madrid FC (31)||Villarreal CF||FC Barcelona|
|2008-09||FC Barcelona (19)||real Madrid FC||Sevilla FC|
|2009-10||FC Barcelona (20)||real Madrid FC||Valencia CF|
|2010-11||FC Barcelona (21)||real Madrid FC||Valencia CF||XNUMXth property trophy awarded
|2011-12||real Madrid FC (32)||FC Barcelona||Valencia CF||Highest score and scoring record of a champion.
|2012-13||FC Barcelona (22)||real Madrid FC||Atletico Madrid||Higher equalized champion score and higher advantage over the second
|2013-14||Atletico Madrid (10)||FC Barcelona||real Madrid FC|
|2014-15||FC Barcelona (23)||real Madrid FC||Atletico Madrid|
|2015-16||FC Barcelona (24)||real Madrid FC||Atletico Madrid|
|2016-17||real Madrid FC (33)||FC Barcelona||Atletico Madrid|
|2017-18||FC Barcelona (25)||Atletico Madrid||real Madrid FC|
|2018-19||FC Barcelona (26)||Atletico Madrid||real Madrid FC||Eleventh property trophy awarded. First League with VAR and with asymmetric calendar
|2019-20||real Madrid FC (34)||FC Barcelona||Atletico Madrid||Coronavirus pandemic. 5 substitutions allowed.
|2020-21||Event in progress|
Note: indicated in bold font the seasons in which he also won the Spanish Cup Championship title, designated as a national double.
|Club||Champion||Subcamp.||Third||Years of the championships|
|real Madrid FC||1932, 1933, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2017, 2020
|FC Barcelona||1929, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1960, 1974, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 2019
|Atletico Madrid||1940, 1941, 1950, 1951, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1996 2014
|Athletic Club||1930, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1943, 1956, 1983, 1984
|Valencia CF||1942, 1944, 1947, 1971, 2002, 2004
|Real Sociedad||1981, 1982
|RC Deportivo de La Coruña||2000
|Racing de Santander|
|UD Las Palmas|
|R. Sporting Gijon|
- For a complete statistical summary of the competition see Statistics of the First Division of Spain
The 4616 points achieved by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol place it as the leader in the historical classification of the competition among the 63 teams that have ever participated in it. 92 points below is the second classified, the Barcelona Football Club Prepared by the National Professional Football League, it is based on the points achieved by each team in the First Division, based on the current scoring system for victories of two or three points to the winner, and establishing a historical record with that of three points.
The only three clubs that have been present in all editions of the competition are Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Athletic Club.
|Pos||Club||Seasons||Points||PJ||PG||PE||PP||Pts. × 3||Securities||% Tit.||% Score|
|1||Real Madrid Football Club||90||4616||2876||1716||576||584||5724||34||37.78||66.34|
|2||Fútbol Club Barcelona||90||4524||2876||1660||585||631||5565||26||28.89||64.62|
|3||Club Atlético de Madrid||84||3667||2728||1304||634||790||4546||10||11.11||55.55|
|4||Valencia Football Club||86||3573||2778||1238||650||890||4364||6||6.67||52.36|
|6||Sevilla Football Club||77||3006||2522||1043||559||920||3688||1||1.11||48.74|
|7||Real Club Deportivo Espanyol||85||2919||2740||979||642||1119||3579||-||-||43.54|
|8||Royal Society of Football||74||2728||2416||907||603||906||3324||2||2.22||46.15|
|10||Real Betis Balompie||55||2036||1842||648||465||729||2409||1||1.11||43.59|
Historic scorers table
- For a complete detail see Top scorers in the Spanish First Division.
The top scorer in the competition is the Argentine Lionel Messi with 465 goals, followed by the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and the Spaniard Telmo Zarra with 311 and 251 goals respectively, after overcoming the first two, the Spanish record that for years remained unattainable in the history of the competition. These three players are joined by a fourth, the Spanish-Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano, as those with the most triplets or hat tricks they accumulate: 36 for Messi, 34 for Cristiano Ronaldo, and 22 for Zarra and Di Stéfano.
Among the top scorers, the Spanish Isidro Lángara is the player with the best scoring average of the competition with 1.16 goals per game, ahead of the aforementioned Cristiano Ronaldo with an average of 1.07, of Agustín Sauto's 0.92. Bata and 0.91 from Telmo Zarra. Only nine footballers have managed to score more than 200 goals in the competition.
It's the diary Brand who awards the Pichichi trophy to the top scorer, in addition to various other individual annual awards. Among them also stands out the Zamora trophy, awarded to the goalkeeper with the most favorable coefficient of goals conceded per game; or the Zarra trophy, awarded to the highest national scorer among others. Among all the named footballers they add 25 top scorer distinctions, being led by Messi's seven and Zarra's six.
Final report: Accounted for the matches and goals according to official records. Highlighted active players and current club.
Players with the highest number of games played
- For a complete detail, see Players with the most appearances in the Spanish First Division
Among the players who have played the most games throughout the history of the competition, the Vitorian Andoni Zubizarreta stands out above all, who played a total of 622 games between the three teams in which he played in the highest category for 17 seasons. He played all of them as a starter and only did not finish four of them, being also the only player who has managed to exceed 600 games in the First Division. Behind him are Joaquín Sánchez from Cádiz with a total of 571 games, and Raúl González from Madrid with 550, being the outfield player - not a goalkeeper - with the highest record achieved with a single club in 16 seasons. Eusebio Sacristán from Valladolid, with a total of 543 divided into four teams and 19 seasons, precedes Paco Buyo from A Coruña, Manolo Sanchís and Iker Casillas from Madrid, Xavi Hernández from Barcelona and Miquel Soler from Girona, who complete the group of nine players in being the the only ones to have played more than 500 matches in the competition.
Regarding foreign participants, it is the Hispanic-Argentine Lionel Messi who accumulates the most games with a total of 511, after surpassing the previous record of 466 of the Hispanic-Brazilian Donato da Silva, while the Estoniorruso Valeri Karpin is the first player of non-nationalized Spaniards to top the record with 384 encounters. The aforementioned Soler and César Sánchez from Cáceres are the players who have played the most seasons in the First Division with 20 each.
Among the active players, it is the aforementioned Joaquín Sánchez who has the most appearances with 566 games spread over seventeen seasons.
Final report: highlighted active footballers in the category during the 2019-20 campaign in addition to their current team.
Summary of the most notable changes
- League of 10 teams from the 1928-29 season (first edition) to the 1933-34 season (inclusive), 12-team League from the 1934-35 season to the 1940-41 season (both inclusive, although between 1936 and 1939 not there were competitions due to the civil war), League of 14 teams from the season 1941-42 to 1949-50 (both inclusive), League of 16 teams from the season 1950-51 to the season 1970-71 (both inclusive), League of 18 teams from the 1971-72 season to the 1986-87 season (both inclusive), League of 20 teams from the 1987-88 season to the present, with the exceptions of the 1995-96 and 1996-97 leagues with 22 teams.
- As of the 1995-96 season, 3 points are awarded per victory. The obligation to put the name and / or surname on the number of each player was also established and the number of substitutions allowed during the match is extended from 2 to 3 for each team.
- As of the 1996-97 season, the so-called "Bosman law" was applied, which considered any player from the European Union as belonging to the country, without occupying a foreign position.
- As of the 1999-2000 season, the promotion of relegation / promotion was eliminated and the number of promotions and direct descents between First and Second Division per season was increased by one (from two to three).
- As of the 2018-19 season, the VAR and the asymmetric calendar are implemented.
- Documentary TVE (21/10/2011), «How we have changed - League Champions (1929-2011)»At RTVE.es.
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