The Primera División, commonly known as La Liga and as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system. A total of 60 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception, nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 32 times and Barcelona 24 times. Real Madrid dominated the championship from the 1950s through the 1980s, from the 1990s onwards, Barcelona and Real Madrid both dominated, though La Liga also saw other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña. In more recent years, Atlético Madrid has joined a coalition of now three teams dominating La Liga alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona. Its clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup titles, and its players have accumulated the highest number of Ballon dOr awards. La Liga is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. The competition format follows the usual double round-robin format, during the course of a season, which lasts from August to May, each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 38 matchdays. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss, teams are ranked by total points, with the highest-ranked club at the end of the season crowned champion. A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Primera División and the Segunda División, the top teams in La Liga qualify for the UEFA Champions League. The first, second, and third placed teams enter the group stage. Teams placed fifth and sixth play in the UEFA Europa League, if both teams in the cup final finish in the top six, an additional berth in the Europa League is given to the team that finishes in seventh. In April 1927, José María Acha, a director at Arenas Club de Getxo, first proposed the idea of a national league in Spain. After much debate about the size of the league and who would take part, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Unión were all selected as previous winners of the Copa del Rey. Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Europa qualified as Copa del Rey runners-up, only three of the founding clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, have never been relegated from the Primera División. They were also runners-up in 1932 and 1933, in 1935, Real Betis, then known as Betis Balompié, won their only title to date. Primera División was suspended during the Spanish Civil War, in 1937, the teams in the Republican area of Spain, with the notable exception of the two Madrid clubs, competed in the Mediterranean League and Barcelona emerged as champions. Seventy years later, on 28 September 2007, Barcelona requested the RFEF to recognise that title as a Liga title and this action was taken after RFEF was asked to recognise Levante FCs Copa de la España Libre win as equivalent to Copa del Rey trophy. Nevertheless, the body of Spanish football has not made an outright decision yet
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, commonly known as Real Madrid, or simply as Real outside Spain frontiers, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1902 as Madrid Football Club, the team has worn a white home kit since inception. The word Real is Spanish for Royal and was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the crown in the emblem. The team has played its matches in the 85, 454-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. Unlike most European sporting entities, Real Madrids members have owned and operated the club throughout its history. The club was estimated to be worth €3.24 billion in 2015, the club is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Real Madrid is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never relegated from the top division, along with Athletic Bilbao. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably El Clásico with Barcelona, Real Madrid established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s, winning five consecutive European Cups and reaching the final seven times. This success was replicated in the league, where the club won five times in the space of seven years. In domestic football, the club has won a record 32 La Liga titles,19 Copa del Rey, nine Supercopa de España, a Copa Eva Duarte, and a Copa de la Liga. Real Madrid was recognised as the FIFA Club of the 20th Century on 23 December 2000, the club received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in 2004. The club is ranked first in the latest IFFHS Club World Ranking, setting a new ranking-points record, the club also leads the current UEFA club rankings. They founded Football Club Sky in 1897, playing on Sunday mornings at Moncloa and it split into two clubs in 1900, New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Madrid Football Club. On 6 March 1902, after a new Board presided by Juan Padrós had been elected, three years after its foundation, in 1905, Madrid FC won its first title after defeating Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final. The club became one of the sides of the Royal Spanish Football Federation on 4 January 1909. After moving between grounds the team moved to the Campo de ODonnell in 1912, in 1920, the clubs name was changed to Real Madrid after King Alfonso XIII granted the title of Real to the club. In 1929, the first Spanish football league was founded, Real Madrid led the first league season until the last match, a loss to Athletic Bilbao, meant they finished runners-up to Barcelona. Real Madrid won its first League title in the 1931–32 season, Real won the League again the following year, becoming the first team to have won the championship twice
Real Betis Balompié, SAD, more commonly referred to as Real Betis or just Betis, is a Spanish football club based in Sevilla, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 12 September 1907, it plays in La Liga and it holds home games at Estadio Benito Villamarín in the south of the city. Real Betis won the title in 1935 and the Copa del Rey in 1977 and 2005. Given the clubs history and many relegations, its motto is Viva el Betis manque pierda. The name Betis is derived from Baetis, the Roman name for the Guadalquivir river which passes through Sevilla, Real was added in 1914 after the club received patronage from King Alfonso XIII. Betis city rivals Sevilla FC were the first club in Sevilla, founded in October 1905, while a second club, Balompié translates literally as football, as opposed to the most commonly adopted anglicised version, fútbol. Following an internal split from Sevilla FC, another club was formed, in 1914, they merged with Sevilla Balompié. The club received its royal patronage in the year. The club reached the Copa del Presidente de la República final for the first time on 21 June 1931, under the guidance of Irish coach Patrick OConnell on 28 April 1935 Betis won the La Liga, to date their only top division title. They topped the table by a point over Madrid FC. A year later Betis went down to seventh, despite a brief return to the top division which lasted only one season, the club continued to decline and in 1947 the worst fears were reached when they were relegated to Tercera División. Many fans see the ten years spent in the category as key to the identity. During this time, Betis earned a reputation for filling its stadium and having a support at away matches. When the side returned to the level in 1954, it gained the distinction of being the only club in Spain to have won all three major divisions titles. Much of the credit for guiding Betis through this dark period, in 1955, Manuel Ruiz Rodríguez stepped down from running the club believing he could not offer further economic growth, he was replaced by Betis most famous former president, Benito Villamarín. During his reign Betis returned to the top division in 1958–59 and his purchase of the Estadio Heliópolis in 1961 is seen as a key point in the history of the club – the grounds were called the Estadio Benito Villamarín until 1997. In 1965, Villamarín stepped down from his position ten years at the helm of the club. Just one year after Villamaríns departure, the club would again be relegated to two, then rising and falling almost consecutively until consolidating their place in the top level in 1974–75
Real Murcia Club de Fútbol, S. A. D. Known as Real Murcia, is a Spanish football club based in Murcia, founded in 1919, it currently plays in Segunda División B, playing home matches at Estadio Nueva Condomina, which holds 33,045 spectators. Home colors are mainly scarlet shirt and white shorts, officially founded in 1908, Real Murcia was named as such, in 1923–24, by king Alfonso XIII. The following year, the La Condomina stadium was opened, with the club holding home games there for the next 82 years uninterrupted. In 1929 the club first competed in the division, achieving its first ever La Liga promotion in 1939–40. After years of playing in the second level, it returned to the top division for 1980–81. During the 1990s Murcia also featured briefly in four. During the 2008–09 season, with Murcia placed in the zone, Clemente was also sacked. However, in the campaign, the club returned to division three. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, the team was thus registered in the competition and presented, but it was disbanded shortly after for financial reasons. Three years later, Murcia Femenino in the division became Murcias new club. Real Murcia Imperial – Murcias reserve team Official website Futbolme team profile BDFutbol team profile MurciaMania, all about the club
Elche Club de Fútbol, S. A. D. is a Spanish football team based in Elche, Province of Alicante, in the Valencian Community. Founded in 1922, the club plays in the Segunda División, holding home matches at Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero. It was runner-up in the Copa del Rey in 1969 and they were relegated at the end of the 2014–15 season due to unpaid tax debts. Elche Club de Fútbol was founded in the summer of 1923, the clubs first-ever game was against Monóvar, where they beat the home team 4–0, and its first official match was a 2–0 win over Crevillente. In the late 1950s, Elche achieved two promotions from the third level to La Liga, securing its first promotion to the latter competition with a 3–0 success against Tenerife in 1959. Elche opened its first season in the top level with a 1–1 draw against Real Oviedo, the first goal being scored by Vicente Pahuet. The club finished out of 16 sides, nine points ahead of relegated Osasuna – the campaign included a 2–1 comeback home victory over Barcelona. The following season saw the team having to compete in the relegation/promotion play-off, Elche achieved their best-ever league finish in 1963–64, ranking in fifth position. The season also saw the clubs team, Elche Ilicitano. In 1969 the club reached their first and only Copa del Rey final, following victories over Pontevedra, Valencia, after twelve seasons Elche was relegated to division two in 1971, having finished second from bottom. Two years later the team returned to the category, as champions. After the relegation in 1978 Elche suffered, the whole of the top division campaign was spent in the relegation zone, and relegation consequently befell as 17th. After the relegation in 1989, Elche started to suffer heavily in the financial department, during the better part of the 1990s the club reached the second division promotion playoffs, only to consecutively fall short. In 1997 Elche finally managed to return to two, being immediately relegated back but gaining another promotion subsequently. On May 18,2013, following Barcelona B and Alcorcóns 1–1 draw, Elche was automatically promoted to the top level, during the 2013–14 season, the team managed to keep in the top competition, with an average attendance to home matches estimated at 25,104 people. As Elche Football Club As Elche Club de Fútbol 21 seasons in La Liga 37 seasons in Segunda División 7 seasons in Segunda División B19 seasons in Tercera División As of 1 February 2017, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules
Valencia Club de Fútbol are a Spanish football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish football, Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, two Fairs Cups, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. They also reached two UEFA Champions League finals in a row, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000, Valencia were also members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs. In total, Valencia have reached seven major European finals, winning four of them, Valencia were founded in 1919 and have played their home games at the 55, 000-seater Mestalla since 1923. They were due to move into the new 75, 000-seater Nou Mestalla in the north-west of the city in 2013, Valencia have a fierce rivalry with fellow Valencian club Villarreal CF, with whom they contest the Derby de la Comunitat. The rivalry is fueled by the fact that they are the two most successful clubs in the region. They also have a rivalry with Levante UD, also located in the city of Valencia. Valencia is the third-most supported football club in Spain, behind heavyweights Real Madrid, over the years, the club has achieved a global reputation for their prolific youth academy, or cantera. Products of their academy include world-class talents such as Raúl Albiol, Andrés Palop, Miguel Ángel Angulo, David Albelda, Gaizka Mendieta, current stars of the game to have graduated in recent years include Isco, Jordi Alba, Juan Bernat, and Paco Alcácer. The club was established on 5 March 1919 and officially approved on 18 March 1919, with Octavio Augusto Milego Díaz as its first president, incidentally, the club played its first competitive match away from home on 21 May 1919 against Valencia Gimnástico, and lost the match 1–0. Valencia CF moved into the Mestalla Stadium in 1923, having played its matches at the Algirós ground since 7 December 1919. The first match at Mestalla pitted the side against Castellón Castalia. In another match the day after, Valencia won against the same opposition, Valencia won the Regional Championship in 1923, and was eligible to play in the domestic Copa del Rey cup competition for the first time in its history. The Spanish Civil War halted the progress of the Valencia team until 1941, in the 1941–42 season, the club won its first Spanish La Liga championship title, although winning the Copa del Rey was more reputable than the championship at that time. The club maintained its consistency to capture the title again in the 1943–44 season. In 1995 they lost 2012 they lost 6-1 to CD Binefar In the 1950s, a restructuring of Mestalla resulted in an increase in spectator capacity to 45,000, while the club had a number of Spanish and foreign stars. Players such as Spanish international Antonio Puchades and Dutch forward Faas Wilkes graced the pitch at Mestalla, in the 1952–53 season, the club finished as runners-up in La Liga behind Barcelona. In the following season, the club won its third Copa del Rey, Valencia beat holders Barça 3–0 in the final in front of over 110,000 spectators at the Estadio Chamartín, then the home ground of Real Madrid
Real Zaragoza, S. A. D. is a Spanish football team based in Zaragoza, in the autonomous community of Aragon. Founded on 18 March 1932 it currently plays in Segunda División, holding home games at La Romareda, the club has spent the majority of its history in La Liga, winning the Copa del Rey six times and the 1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, amongst other trophies. Traditionally, team colours are white shirts and socks with blue shorts. A government survey in 2007 found that 2. 7% of the Spanish population support the club, Real Zaragoza was originally formed from two rival teams, Iberia SC and Real Zaragoza CD. In 1939, after three years without football due to the Spanish Civil War, the team made its first appearance in La Liga, ending in seventh out of 12 teams. On 8 September 1957 the team left its original stadium, El Torrero, Zaragoza finished third in 1973–74 and a best-ever second in the following season, losing the title in the last round to Real Madrid. In 1986, Zaragoza won its third Spanish Cup, defeating Barcelona 1–0, víctor Fernández was appointed manager in 1991. The 2000s brought a further two Spanish Cups to Zaragozas trophy cabinet, including the 2003–04 edition against Real Madrid in Barcelona, the club, however, also suffered top flight relegation in 2002 after narrowly avoiding so the previous season, but achieved immediate promotion in 2003. In late May 2006, Agapito Iglesias bought Alfonso Solans shares and took control of the club, promising to one of the strongest teams in Spain. In his first year in charge, he bought Pablo Aimar from Valencia for €11 million, mainly due to Diego Militos 23 goals in 2006–07, Real Zaragoza finished in sixth position, thus qualifying to the UEFA Cup. The following season, however, ended in relegation – for the time in the decade – with the side also being eliminated in the first round in European competition. Legendary club coach Fernández returned for a spell, being sacked in January 2008 as the club had four managers during the campaign. In the last round, a brace from Ricardo Oliveira proved insufficient in a 2–3 away loss against Mallorca, Zaragoza achieved promotion from the second division at the first attempt. After four seasons mainly spent in the half of the table, Zaragoza returned to the silver category in 2013. 58 seasons in La Liga 20 seasons in Segunda División 4 seasons in Tercera División As of 4 February 2017 Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Official website Real Zaragoza at La Liga Real Zaragoza at UEFA