Categoría Primera A
|Number of teams||20|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Categoría Primera B|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa Colombia
|International cup(s)||Copa Libertadores
|Current champions||Independiente Santa Fe (8th title)
|TV partners||TV Colombia
Win Sports/RCN HD2 (7 games by round)
RCN Colombia (2 games by round)
The Categoría Primera A (Spanish pronunciation: [kateɣoˈɾi.a pɾiˈmeɾa ˈa]), commonly referred to as Liga Águila due to sponsorship by brewery company Bavaria (manufacturer of Águila beer), is a Colombian professional league for association football clubs. It is the country's premier football tournament and sits at the top of the Colombian football league system. From 1990 to 2010, the league was referred to as Copa Mustang, due to a contract with Protabaco, a tobacco industry that produced Mustang cigarettes (that ended in 2010 due to an anti-tobacco law).
Fourteen teams have been crowned as the Colombian football champions. The most successful clubs are Millonarios and Atlético Nacional with 14 titles. The IFFHS have ranked the league the 9th best in the world and, the third best in South America.
In 1948, Dimayor was founded in Barranquilla to officially organize football. FIFA declared the Colombian league a breakaway league after a dispute with the existing amateur football authority in Colombia. Therefore, all Colombian teams were suspended from playing international football. The Colombia national football team was also under sanction. However, the sanction did not hurt the league. Due to a strike in Argentine football, the best footballers were signed in Colombia. This era was known as El Dorado and lasted until 1953, when Alfredo Di Stéfano was transferred to Spain.
During the 1980s América dominated the league and won consecutive championships. During this time many clubs became under the influence of cartels, such as Atlético Nacional and América allowing them to buy players and big money contracts.. During the late 80s and early 90s the league became known to many stars from various countries. Many of the players of golden age of the Colombia national football team shined in the league.
From 2010 to 2014 the league was referred as Liga Postobón.
During the league stage, which lasts for eighteen games, each team plays against every other team once, plus an additional game against their local rival in the league. The league table is kept like a normal European league table, one point for ties and three points for a win. The top eight teams advance to the playoffs.
The playoffs have been organized in two different ways over the course of the short tournaments. They were first organized by dividing the eight teams into two groups where they would play home and away games; then, the two group winners would play the final. In later years, the playoffs are organized in pairs and play direct elimination in home and away games until only two teams reach the finals.
The finals involve two games. The team with the highest overall points achieved during the league stage gets to play the second game in their home stadium; if the aggregate points are the same, the home game is determined by the goal difference. The team with the highest aggregate score after both home and away games wins and is awarded the championship. If the games end up in a tie, there is no additional time and it proceeds directly to a penalty shoot-out. The away goals rule is not used.
Teams for 2015 season
Seasons by club
This is the complete list of the clubs that has took part of the Categoría Primera A, founded in 1948, until 2015 season. Teams who currently plays are indicated in bold.
Champions by seasons
Fourteen clubs have been the Primera A champions. Eight of those clubs have been the champion more than once. The most successful clubs are Atlético Nacional and Millonarios with fourteen titles each. Deportivo Cali, Atlético Nacional, América, and Millonarios are the only clubs that have won the title consecutively. América holds the record for the longest title streak winning five titles from 1982 to 1986. Since the start of the Apertura/Clausura championships in 2002, only Atlético Nacional in 2007 and 2013 has won both championships in the same season; on a different note, Atletico Nacional in 2004 is also the only team that has lost both championships in the same season. No team has won titles in each decade of its existence, though Atletico Nacional, Atletico Junior and America de Cali have had consistent championships since the 1970s.
Los Millonarios is the most consistent team of the long tournaments, with 13 wins out of 52 tournaments disputed from 1948 to 2001 (plus one short tournament), followed by America with 11 (plus two short tournaments), while Atletico Nacional is the most consistent in the short tournaments, with 7 wins out of the 23 disputed from 2002 to date (2014-I). Out of all the six teams with just one championship, four have won their first title during the short tournament period.
Up until the late 1980s, Los Millonarios dominated the championship. In recent years, however, America de Cali and Atletico Nacional have reached a similar success in the tournaments. New-coming champions have also come during the 2000s, such as Boyaca Chico and Deportivo Pasto, while traditional teams also won championships, such as Once Caldas, Independiente Santa Fe.
'Atlético Nacional has reached the finals 24 times, the most out of the professional teams. America de Cali has reached the finals 20 times.
Out of the finalists to date, three teams are currently relegated: America de Cali, Real Cartagena and Atletico Bucaramanga.
The only tournament that was not awarded to a champion occurred on 1989, after the assassination of referee Álvaro Ortega on October 1, 1989 in Medellín. All games, post-season games and international representation for the following year were cancelled.
Source for champions and runners-up by season: RSSSF
The trophy that is given to the champion of the league is the same one since 1948, the winners are given replica for their trophy rooms. Meanwhile the original one used in 1948 Campeonato Profesional is in the DIMAYOR headquarters and is engraved with all the names of the clubs who have won it.
Titles by club
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning years||Runners-up years|
|Atlético Nacional||14||10||1954, 1973, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2005–I, 2007–I, 2007–II, 2011–I, 2013–I, 2013–II, 2014–I||1955, 1965, 1971, 1974, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2002–I, 2004–I, 2004–II|
|Millonarios||14||9||1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1987, 1988, 2012–II||1950, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1984, 1994, 1995–96|
|América||13||7||1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996–97, 2000, 2001, 2002–I, 2008–II||1960, 1969, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2008–I|
|Deportivo Cali||8||13||1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1995–96, 1998, 2005–II||1949, 1962, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1986, 2003–II, 2006–I, 2013–II|
|Santa Fe||8||4||1948, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1975, 2012–I, 2014–II||1963, 1979, 2005–I, 2013–I|
|Junior||7||7||1977, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2004–II, 2010–I, 2011–II||1948, 1970, 1983, 2000, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2014–I|
|Independiente Medellín||5||8||1955, 1957, 2002–II, 2004–I, 2009–II||1959, 1961, 1966, 1993, 2001, 2008–II, 2012–II, 2014–II|
|Once Caldas||4||2||1950, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2010–II||1998, 2011–II|
|Deportes Tolima||1||5||2003–II||1957, 1981, 1982, 2006–II, 2010–II|
|Deportivo Pasto||1||2||2006–I||2002–II, 2012–I|
|Deportes Quindío||1||2||1956||1953, 1954|
- Caracol Radio (2009-06-17). "No habrá publicidad de cigarrillos en eventos deportivos y culturales" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Acosta, Andrés; Ballesteros, Frank (15 January 2010). "Colombia - All-Time Table First Division". RSSSF.com.
- Arteaga, José; Ballesteros, Frank (March 6, 2008). "Colombian League Top Scorers". website. RSSSF. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- Juan Pablo Andres and Frank Ballesteros, 22 May 2014. "Colombia - List of Champions and Runners-Up". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 September 2014.