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Know about La Liga History, Records, Format, Stats and everything

La Liga is the top-flight football competition in Spain which is famous in Spain with its original name Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División. According to UEFA’s coefficient, La Liga has been the top league in Europe since 2013. 

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atlético Madrid are the most followed and most successful clubs in the Spanish top-flight league. 

History of La Liga

La Liga History

The inaugural season of La Liga was played in 1929 with a total of 10 participating teams.  

Also Read: List of Top Five Highest Goal Scorers in La Liga in 2020-2021

Gradually the number of the participating team increased and nowadays 20 clubs tussle against each other to grab the La Liga trophy. 

Have a look at how La Liga gradually developed its football system 

Period (in years)No. of clubs
1929–193410 clubs
1934–194112 clubs
1941–195014 clubs
1950–197116 clubs
1971–198718 clubs
1987–199520 clubs
1995–199722 clubs
1997–present20 clubs

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Club are the only founding clubs that have never been relegated from the top-flight league. 

Format of La Liga

Just like other European leagues, La Liga also has the basic promotion-relegation system. La Liga is the top league, while Segunda División is their second-tier league. 

The teams finishing at 18th, 19th and 20th position at the end of a season will get relegated to Segunda División. The top 2 teams of Segunda División will be directly promoted to La Liga. The teams finishing the Segunda División season from 3rd to 6th do have a chance to qualify for the La Liga. The two-legged playoffs are played between 4th and 5th placed teams and 3rd and 6th placed teams. The final is also a two-leg fixture that decides the third team to be promoted in the La Liga. 

Also Read: Top Five Players with All-time most Assists in UEFA Championship

European Qualifications and Non-European players 

The rules regarding the European Qualification for La Liga are quite simple to remember. The top 4 teams will secure their spot in the UEFA Champions League, while the 5th placed team enters the UEFA Europa League

Each club in the league can have a maximum of 5 non-European players and can only name 3 of them in the matchday squad. If a player does not have European ancestry, he can claim Spanish citizenship after playing in Spain for five years. 

El Clásico, the two maestros and the La Liga 

El Clásico, the historically great rivalry between Spanish supergiants Real Madrid and Barcelona has always been enthralling. The two maestros, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Lionel Messi of Barcelona have taken the rivalry to the next level. 

However, It has lost these two legends to the different leagues. Ronaldo moved to Serie A to play for Juventus in 2018-19 and in 2021 Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint Germain.  

What are the Stats ?

Performance by teams

TeamWinnersRunner-ups
Real Madrid3424
Barcelona2626
Atlético Madrid1110
Athletic Bilbao87
Valencia66
Real Sociedad23
Deportivo La Coruña15
Sevilla14
Real Betis10

Most Goals in Spanish League

PlayerClub(s)Years activeGoalsAppearancesRatio
Lionel MessiBarcelona2004–20214745200.91
Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid2009–20183112921.07
Telmo ZarraAthletic Bilbao1940–19552512780.9
Hugo SánchezAtlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano1981–19942343470.67
RaúlReal Madrid1994–20102285500.41
Alfredo Di StéfanoReal Madrid, Espanyol1953–19662273290.69
César RodríguezGranada, Barcelona, Cultural Leonesa, Elche1939–19552233530.63
QuiniSporting Gijón, Barcelona1970–19872194480.49
PahiñoCelta Vigo, Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruña1943–19562102780.76
Karim BenzemaReal Madrid2009–1983880.51

Most Appearances in La Liga 

PlayerClub(s)Years activeAppearancesGoals
Andoni ZubizarretaAthletic Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia1981–19986220
JoaquínReal Betis, Valencia, Málaga2001–20132015-58176
RaúlReal Madrid1994–2010550228
Eusebio SacristánValladolid, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Celta Vigo1983–200254336
Francisco BuyoSevilla, Real Madrid1980–19975420
Manuel SanchísReal Madrid1983–200152332
Lionel MessiBarcelona2004–2021520474
Raúl GarcíaOsasuna, Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao2004–514102
Iker CasillasReal Madrid1999–20155100
Sergio RamosSevilla, Real Madrid2003–202150874

For more such interesting & unheard facts about Football and sports, please visit thesportslite.com frequently.

Thank you for visiting. Have a good day ahead 🙂

Saurabh Karmarkar
Saurabh Karmarkarhttp://thesportslite.com/
An ardent Test cricket fan, a loyal Bayern Munich supporter who loves to write about sports and a fitness enthusiast.
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