LA LIGA

La Liga (LaLiga Santander for sponsorship reasons with Santander) is the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by the National Professional Football League also known as the Liga Fútbol Profesional, and is contested by 20 teams; with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda Division and replaced by the top two teams and a play-off winner in that division.

A total of 62 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 34 times and FC Barcelona 26 times. During the 1940s, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona emerged as the strongest clubs winning several titles. Real Madrid and Barcelona dominated the championship in 1950, winning four La Liga titles each throughout the decade.

According to UEFA’s league coefficient rankings, La Liga has been the top league in Europe in each of the seven years from 2013 to 2019; and has led Europe for 22 of the 60 ranked years up to 2019, more than any other country. It has also produced the continent’s top-rated club more times (22) than any other league in that period; more than double that of second-placed Serie A (Italy), including the top club in 10 of the 11 seasons between 2009 and 2019; each of these pinnacles was achieved by either Barcelona or Real Madrid.

La Liga clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League (18), UEFA Europa League (11), UEFA Super Cup (15), and FIFA Club World Cup (7) titles; and its players have accumulated the highest number of Ballon d’Or awards (23), The Best FIFA Men’s Player awards including FIFA World Player of the Year (19), and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year awards including UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (11).