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Spanish Football League

Published on: 20/11/2016

The top tier of football in Spain is commonly known as La Liga or the Primera Division. Since 1988, La Liga has featured 20 teams who compete in a season that runs from August to May. At the end of the season, the top four teams are rewarded with entry into the Champions League competition, with the top three going straight into the Group Stage and the fourth-ranked team entering at the qualifying stage. The bottom three teams in the league are relegated to the second tier and replaced by three teams from that category.

The league is often marketed under the name of its sponsors (such as Liga Santander), but is known by football fans across the world as La Liga.

Professional football was established in Spain more than 100 years ago and many of the original teams are still in existence. The Spanish Cup (which later became the “Copa del Rey”) was first staged in 1902 to honour the coronation of King Alfonso XIII. In the very first final, a team from Bilbao known as Bizcaya beat FC Barcelona 2-1 in Madrid.

La Copa del Rey remained Spain’s major football prize until 1928 when proposals for a national league was discussed. A year later, a league featuring 10 teams was formed under the title of the Primera Division. Former Copa del Rey winners such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Unión were joined by Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Europa and Racing de Santander. As of today, only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have never been relegated from the top flight. Since its formation, the Spanish League had been one of the most popular and successful in the world. Only nine teams have ever won the league and Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have been the most successful of all, winning over 50 titles between them. As a result, they have grown to become two of the world’s richest and most popular clubs.

Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Sevilla and Deportivo La Coruña have also been league title winners. Spanish clubs have also enjoyed great success on the European stage, winning over 50 major trophies between them, more than any other country. Of the Spanish teams to have prevailed in Europe, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Valencia have been the most successful. As a result, the Spanish top division has been regularly ranked at #1 in the UEFA rankings based on performances over a five year period.

The success of Spanish clubs has not always translated onto the international stage, but that all changed in 2008 when they won their second European Championship title, and followed it up with a World Cup win in 2010 and another Euro Championship in 2012.

Published on: 20/11/2016 © Bet Bind
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