Primera División – Spanish football

The Primera División (La Liga) is the highest Spanish football competition.

Because of sponsorship rights, the Primera División is often called La Liga Santander (or, La Liga). In the competition, twenty clubs participate to determine who is the national champion of Spain. The bottom three relegate at the end of the season and are replaced by numbers 1, 2 and 3 of the Segunda División A, the second highest division in Spain. In total, there have been 59 teams who participated in the Primera División, with a total of nine different winners. While there have been 9 different winners, it is mostly Real Madrid (33 titles) and FC Barcelona (24 titles) that dominate the Primera División. Other champions from the Primera División were Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Deportivo La Coruña, Real Betis and Sevilla. To date, the finals of the Champions League (the highest trophy in European international club football), were reached a total of 25 times by a club from the Primera Division with a total of 15 wins.

We should make the most of life, enjoy it, because that’s the way it is.Cristiano Ronaldo (playing at Real Madrid)

Primera División

According to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), the Primera División is considered the best European football league and it is also the strongest competition in Europe according to the UEFA coefficients. Based on these coefficients, calculated on a yearly basis by the UEFA, the numbers 1-3 qualify for the Champions League, the number 4 position qualifies for the preliminary round of the Champions League and the numbers 5-6 qualify for the Europa League.

Clubs and Stadiums

Athletic BilbaoBilbaoSan Mamés53,289
Atlético MadridMadridWanda Metropolitano68,000
BarcelonaBarcelonaCamp Nou99,354
Celta VigoVigoBalaídos29,000
Deportivo La CoruñaA CoruñaAbanca-Riazor32,912
EspanyolBarcelonaRCDE Stadium40,500
GetafeGetafeColiseum Alfonso Pérez17,000
Las PalmasLas PalmasGran Canaria33,111
LevanteValenciaCiutat de València26,354
MálagaMálagaLa Rosaleda30,044
Real BetisSevilleBenito Villamarín60,720
Real MadridMadridSantiago Bernabéu81,044
Real SociedadSan SebastiánAnoeta32,000
SevillaSevilleRamón Sánchez Pizjuán42,714
VillarrealVillarrealEstadio de la Cerámica24,890

El Clásico

In general, the La Liga is dominated by two clubs: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Matches between these two rival clubs are called El Clásico (“The Classic”). With an estimated 75 million viewers across 185 countries, “El Clásico is considered one of the biggest club football matches in the world, rivaling even the Champions League final. In the last 13 years, in all years but one, either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona was victorious in winning the Spanish national competition.

Eternal Rankings

1Real Madrid8643852762164755256359473140
3Atlético Madrid8034422614124159877545343309
5Athletic Bilbao8633682762120963392046313700
8Real Sociedad702573230286457786132283230
10Real Betis511884172860644068221592492
11Deportivo La Coruña451814153056339257520522188
12Celta Vigo511789169858638972322782624
14Racing Santander441416142845333663918432368
15Sporting Gijón431389145847135862917532152
20Las Palmas331020109636724248713471746
23Rayo Vallecano176626521891483057601088

Records and statistics


  • Most victories in one season: 32 – Real Madrid (2011-2012) and Barcelona (2012-2013)
  • Most losses in one season: 29 – Sporting Gijón (1997-98)
  • Most points in one season: 100 – Real Madrid (2011-2012) and Barcelona (2012-2013)
  • Lowest points in one season: 13 – Sporting Gijón (1997-98)
  • Most games in a row without defeat: 38 – Real Sociedad (1979-1980)
  • Most games in a row without victory: 24 – Sporting de Gijón (1997-1998)
  • Most games in La Liga: 622 – Andoni Zubizarreta (Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona and Valencia)
  • Most goals in one season: 121 – Real Madrid (2011-12)
  • Fewest goals in one season: 15 – Logroñés (1994-95)
  • Most conceded goals in one season: 134 – UE Lleida (1950-51)
  • Fewest goals concededg in one season: 15 – Real Madrid (1931-32)
  • Greatest win: Athletic Bilbao 12-1 Barcelona (1930-1931)
  • Most goals in one match: 14 – Athletic Bilbao 9-5 Racing de Santander (1933-1934)
  • Most red cards in one match: 6 – Espanyol (3) – Barcelona (3) (2003)