Primera Division

Logo Primera DivisiónThe Primera División (Spanish for first league) is the highest Spanish football league. It exists since the season 1928/1929 and is run by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP). Since 2008, the league bears the official name of the sponsor “Liga BBVA”.

According to the current UEFA – five-year-ranking, Spanish clubs have achieved the second best result in European competitions which is why the Primera División can be considered as one of the strongest leagues in Europe.

The league consists of twenty clubs that play off the champion after a first and second round. After every season the champion, the second and third placed play in the Championsleague; the fourth placed will have to face another European team in the Champions league qualification. Those teams finished fifth and sixth play in the UEFA-Cup. The last three clubs come down in the Segunda División.

The history:

Professional soccer in Spain was introduced in 1926. In 1928/29 a common national league, the Primera División, was introduced in which 10 clubs played off the first league title: : FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad San Sebastián, Arenas Club de Getxo, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol Barcelona, Europa Barcelona, Real Unión Irún und Racing Santander. First champion was the FC Barcelona by a margin of two points ahead Real Madrid. Starting with the season 1934/35, the league was increased to 12 teams.

During the civil war (season 1936/37-1938/39) no championships were held. After the victory of anti republican troops under command of Francisco Franco, the season was resumed. However, those clubs which contained non-Spanish name components such as Football Club, Racing, Sporting or Athletic were obliged to rename. It was partly withdrawn during the seventieth.

Since season 1941/42 the Primera División played with 14, since season 1950/51 with 16 and since season 1971/72 with 18 teams. In 1987/88 the league was increased to 20 teams and it has remained like that until today. Exceptions were the seasons in 1995/96 and 1996/97. Due to their accumulation of debts, the teams of Celta Vigo and FC Sevilla were downgraded the third league, the Segunda División B. The teams of Real Valladolid and Albacete Balompié which were normally relegated however remained in the league. However, officials and fans of Celta and Sevilla successfully protested against the enforced relegation at the Spanish football association. Therefore the league was increased to 22 teams since Valladolid and Albacete protested successfully against their relegation as well. After two seasons the league was reduced to 20 teams again. As a consequence of this measure, the Segunda División plays with 22 teams until today.

Record champion is Real Madrid which has been at the head of the league for 31 times. The FC Barcelona achieved 19 championships meanwhile Atlético (nine) and Athletic Bilbao (eight) are placed on the following ranks. The FC Valencia achieved the championship at least six times.

The Primera División (Spanish for first league) is the highest Spanish football league. It exists since the season 1928/1929 and is run by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP). Since 2008, the league bears the official name of the sponsor “Liga BBVA”.According to the current UEFA – five-year-ranking, Spanish clubs have achieved the second best result in European competitions which is why the Primera División can be considered as one of the strongest leagues in Europe.The league consists of twenty clubs that play off the champion after a first and second round. After every season the champion, the second and third placed play in the Championsleague; the fourth placed will have to face another European team in the Champions league qualification. Those teams finished fifth and sixth play in the UEFA-Cup. The last three clubs come down in the Segunda División. The history:Professional soccer in Spain was introduced in 1926. In 1928/29 a common national league, the Primera División, was introduced in which 10 clubs played off the first league title: FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad San Sebastián, Arenas Club de Getxo, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol Barcelona, Europa Barcelona, Real Unión Irún und Racing Santander. First champion was the FC Barcelona by a margin of two points ahead Real Madrid. Starting with the season 1934/35, the league was increased to 12 teams.During the civil war (season 1936/37-1938/39) no championships were held. After the victory of anti republican troops under command of Francisco Franco, the season was resumed. However, those clubs which contained non-Spanish name components such as Football Club, Racing, Sporting or Athletic were obliged to rename. It was partly withdrawn during the seventieth. Since season 1941/42 the Primera División played with 14, since season 1950/51 with 16 and since season 1971/72 with 18 teams. In 1987/88 the league was increased to 20 teams and it has remained like that until today.

Exceptions were the seasons in 1995/96 and 1996/97. Due to their accumulation of debts, the teams of Celta Vigo and FC Sevilla were downgraded the third league, the Segunda División B. The teams of Real Valladolid and Albacete Balompié which were normally relegated however remained in the league. However, officials and fans of Celta and Sevilla successfully protested against the enforced relegation at the Spanish football association. Therefore the league was increased to 22 teams since Valladolid and Albacete protested successfully against their relegation as well. After two seasons the league was reduced to 20 teams again. As a consequence of this measure, the Segunda División plays with 22 teams until today. Record champion is Real Madrid which has been at the head of the league for 31 times. The FC Barcelona achieved 19 championships meanwhile Atlético (nine) and Athletic Bilbao (eight) are placed on the following ranks. The FC Valencia achieved the championship at least six times.

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