La Liga

AhmedLa Liga

La Liga Logo

Courtesy: www.laliga.es

la liga santander logo

Courtesy: laliga.es

Primera División (First Division), also known as La Liga (the league)  is the top most professional division of the Spanish football league system which is administered by Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP). It is without a doubt one of the best leagues in all of the Europe and has faced the most talented players and teams in the history of football. The name of the league was recently changed to La Liga Santander due to their new sponsors. 60 teams have taken part in the competition since its making and nine teams have been crowned champions. It is one of the most popular professional sports league in the world, with an average attendance of 26,741 for league matches during the 2014-15 season. The current champions of the league are F.C. Barcelona.

History

la liga historical game

Courtesy: thedailycrumb.com

The founder of La Liga is Jose Maria Acha, a director of Arenas Club de Getxo, a Spanish football club, who first brought forth the idea of setting up a national league in Spain in April 1927. The idea was discussed and went through many stages such as the size of the league and the teams.  After much debate, Real Federación Española de Fútbol decided to form a league by adding ten teams to the league to form the Primera Division in 1929.

The previous winners of the Copa del Ray were selected first to form the league which included Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arena Club de Getxo and Real Union. Three clubs were selected as Copa del Ray runner-ups including Atletico Madrid, Espanyol and Europa and the last club to form La Liga was Racing de Santander which qualified through a knockout competition. Three of the founding clubs have never been eliminated from La Liga which includes Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. The winner of the first La Liga was Barcelona.

The League was suspended in 1936 due to the Spanish Civil War. The league continued in 1939 after the war came to an end. Athletico Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia emerged as the strongest teams after the war and won several titles during the years.

During 1930 to 1950, there were strict rules applied to foreign players. Each club could only keep 3 foreign players, which meant that they had to have 8 local players to complete their squad. However now, players can claim citizenship from the country their ancestors came from, or if the player does not have European ancestors, he can claim Spanish citizenship after playing in Spain for a period of 5 years. At this time, there are several players from around the world playing for Spanish clubs.

  6 Best Football players in La Liga's History.

The current team with the best record in La Liga history is Real Madrid, followed by Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and so on.

Format

The tournament follows a double round-robin format. The season is 10 months long which starts in August and ends in May. Each club plays every other club once at home and once away, in a total of 38 games. Teams receive 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. At the end of the season, the team with the highest points is crowned the champion. Each season is contested by 20 teams. The last three teams are relegated to Segunda Division and the two top teams in the Segunda Division are promoted, while the third team is selected by a series of play-offs between the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th placed club.

17 teams from 2014-15 season qualified directly while three clubs from the Segunda Division were promoted including Betis and Sporting while Las Palmas won their place in La Liga by winning the play-offs.

Titles

Courtesy: footyheadlines.com

Courtesy: footyheadlines.com

The following teams have won the most titles of La Liga:

Real Madrid (32 titles):

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

Barcelona (24 titles):

1928–29, 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

Atletico Madrid (10 titles):

1939–40, 1940–41, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1995–96, 2013–14

Athletic Bilbao (8 titles):

1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1942–43, 1955–56, 1982–83, 1983–84

Valencia (6 titles):

1941–42, 1943–44, 1946–47, 1970–71, 2001–02, 2003–04

Real Sociedad (2 titles):

1980–81, 1981–82

 

La Liga in Europe

La Liga has won the following awards in Europe:

  • Most Top rated club in Europe (18 times)
  • Most IFFS World’s Club Team of the Year (9 times)
  • THMost UEFA Champions League Titles (16 times)
  • Most UEFA Europa League Titles (10 times)
  • Most UEFA Best Player in Europe titles (4 times)

Other than these, La Liga is the first and the only club that has been represented by both the finalists in the UEFA Champions League on three occasions. Players from La Liga also have the highest number of FIFA World player of the Year awards and Ballon d’Or awards and also represent the most FIFAPro World XI and UEFA team of the Year places.

  La Liga: Malaga equalises with Osasuna-Match Summary.

La Liga made history in 2015 when they became the only league to classify five teams into the group stages of the Champions League. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia are also five of the most successful teams in European competition history. These five clubs are they only clubs in the Spanish League to have won five or more international trophies. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are in the ten most successful clubs in European football in terms of trophies.

Footballers

best La Liga footballers

Courtesy: dailymail.co.uk

La Liga has one of the best footballers in the world. Many famous footballers play for clubs in this League like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Andres Iniesta and Iker Casillas to name a few. La Liga has also seen some of the best footballers in the entire history of football like Diego Maradona, Alfredo di Stefano, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Samuel Eto’o, Johan Cruyff, Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Raul.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona holds the title of the top goal scorer since the making of La Liga, scoring an amazing 312 goals and 348 appearances. The line is followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Telmo Zarra, Hugo Sanchez, Raul, Alfredo di Stefano, Cesar Rodriguez and so on.

The record for most appearances is held by Andoni Zubizarreta, followed by Raul, Eusebio Sacristan, Francisco Buyo, Manuel Sanchis, Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and so on.


Transfers

The first La Liga player to be involved in a transfer that broke the world record was Luis Suarez, who moved from Barcelona to Internazionale in 1961 for £152,000.  Twelve years later, Johan Cruyff was the first player to join a La Liga club for a record fee. He moved from Ajax to Barcelona for £922,000. Barcelona signed Diego Maradona from Boca juniors in 1982 for £3 million, setting a record again. Real Bettis set their first world record when they signed Denilson from Sao Paulo in 1998 for £21.5 million. The next five record transfers were made by Real Madrid when they signed Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and hold the current world record for the most amount of record fee when they signed Gareth Bale for a whopping £85.3 million from Tottenham Hotspurs.

Associated competition

UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League

Courtesy: theworldgame.sbs.com.au

UEFA Champions league is a tournament held by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) between the top division clubs of Europe. Spain has always been the top competitors in the Champions league and has the most titles in all of the Europe. In La Liga, the first three teams at the top of the list directly qualify in the group stages of the competition while the fourth team takes part in a series of play-offs to enter in the group stages of the competition.

  Spanish La Liga transfer news 2016/17: Real Madrid Barcelona transfer news

Real Madrid has held up the title of most wins in the tournament and has been crowned 11 times. Also, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid is all time top scorer of the competition with 93 goals and is followed by Lionel Messi of Barcelona who has scored 83 goals in the competition so far. Players of La Liga like Iker Casillas, Xavi and Raul have also contributed to the popularity of the league by making the most appearances in the competition than any other club.

Copa Del Rey
copa del rey logo

Courtesy: ghondeck.com

Copa del Rey is another tournament contested between all of the Spanish clubs. The current champions of the tournament are FC. Barcelona. The winner of the tournament goes to the UEFA Europa League unless they qualify for the UEFA Champions League. The competition first took place around 113 years from now, making it one of the oldest competitions in Spanish football. It was created to celebrate the coronation of King Alfonso XIII, so it was named Copa del Rey which translates to ‘The King’s Cup’ in English. Barcelona has the most titles in the tournament (28) followed by Athletic Bilbao (23) and Real Madrid (19). Telmo Zarra followed by Josep Samitier and Guillermo Gorostiza, are the all time highest scorers of the tournament.

For more La Liga news, fixtures and highlights, visit:

http://www.skysports.com/la-liga

http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/la-liga/

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