Campeonato Nacional (Chile)
|Number of teams||18|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Primera B|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa Chile|
|International cup(s)||Copa Libertadores
|Most championships||Colo-Colo (30 titles)|
The Campeonato Nacional (English: National Championship) is the top tier league of the Chilean football league system. It is organized by the ANFP (English: National Association of Professional Football) and is ranked 25th in the IFFHS' Best Leagues of the World ranking as of 2014. In 2015, the league became known as the Campeonato Scotiabank for sponsorship reasons.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2015)|
Resembling the competition system in most Latin American countries (such as Argentina and Mexico), the Chilean First Division is currently played by 18 teams, which play two single-round tournaments per season, with the two tournaments known as Apertura and Clausura. Chile has used this format for most of the 21st century.
From 2002 to 2012, except in 2010, a system similar to that used in Mexico was employed. The Apertura tournament was played in the first half of the calendar year (usually held between January and June), followed by the Clausura tournament (between July and December). For each Apertura and Clausura tournament, a single round-robin tournament, called the regular phase, was played first. Afterwards, a post-season play-off began, where the best eight teams in each single-round tournament eliminated each other in the knockout tournament format in two-leg aggregate score. In the 2010 season, only one championship was held due to the devastating earthquake that hit the country that February.
In 2013, Chile changed to a season spanning two calendar years. As a result, a transitional 2013 season was held in the first half of the calendar year, with only one championship awarded. With the new format beginning in 2013–14, the Apertura is now contested in the second half of the calendar year, with the Clausura following in the first half of the next calendar year. The new format retains the single round-robin schedule of the recent past, but has no play-offs; this resembles the current Argentine season structure.
The Chilean League of Football has never been regular in terms of their tournament systems. Traditionally, the League had consisted in one annual, double round-robin tournament, with the addition of a Cup, but the number of contesting teams and League format has varied throughout the years, until the adoption of the Mexican system in 2002.
Relegation and promotion
Very much like the tournament format, the relegation/promotion (to Primera B) has changed throughout the years.
Currently, the two teams with the worst scores in the complete season (including Apertura and Clausura, but excluding the play-off stage), are relegated to Primera B, and replaced by the Champions and Runners-up of this Division. There is also a Relegation Playoff Tournament, played in a home-and-away basis by the teams that finish 15º and 16° in the First Division against the teams that finish 3° and 4° in the Primera B.
Qualification for international competitions
The champions of the Apertura and Clausura of each season are immediately qualified to Copa Libertadores for the next year. The third Chilean spot in that tournament is used by the team with the highest score in the Clausura regular phase (that is, excluding the play-offs).
For the Copa Sudamericana, the qualification system changes every year. As a sample, for the 2007 season, a small tournament was played by the top four teams in the Apertura. The winners of that tournament (Colo-Colo and Audax Italiano) qualified for Copa Sudamericana 2007.
In 1933, eight big clubs at that time, namely, Unión Española, Badminton, Colo-Colo, Audax Italiano, Green Cross, Morning Star, Magallanes and Santiago National, founded the Liga Profesional de Football de Santiago (LPF) on May 31, 1933. The newly formed body was recognized by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile on June 2, 1933.
The first edition of professional competition was contested by the eight founding teams and was won by Magallanes after defeating Colo-Colo in a decisive match. In the following year, according to the disposition of Federación de Fútbol de Chile, Liga Profesional returned to integrate with the AFS. As part of the negotiations for reunification, four teams from AFS, namely, Ferroviarios, Carlos Walker, Deportivo Alemán, and Santiago F.C., would join the 1934 professional competition. Moreover, it was also decided that the last six teams in the 1934 competition would be eliminated to form the new second division in 1935. The title of the expanded 1934 edition was again clinched by Magallanes, which won 10 out of the 11 matches that year.
The professional competition was confined to teams from Santiago in its first few years. The first club from another region to join the league was Santiago Wanderers in 1937. However, Wanderers would leave the league after that season, to return only in 1944 alongside Everton de Viña del Mar, their local rivals, in 1944. Everton de Viña del Mar captured the title in 1950, becoming the first national champions not coming from the capital city. Not until 1953 was a third team from outside Santiago, Rangers de Talca, admitted to the league, after they had been crowned the runners-up of the second division in 1952.
The modern format and controversy
Since 2002, the format of Primera División de México was adopted, with a short single round-robin and play-off to determine the winner, crowning two champions every year. (Apertura and Clausura tournament)
This format has been criticized by some of the teams and fans, who indicate that the champions was not always the best team of the league, since play-offs are considered a tournament on their own.
Nonetheless, the leader of the league indicated that the format has managed to arouse the emotion of the matches, especially in decisive rounds, and the attendance of the matches has been increasing in recent years.
There are currently 16 teams playing the Primera División for the 2015–16 season
List of seasons
Source (not for goalscorers):
Titles by club
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning years||Runners-up years|
|Colo-Colo||30||18||1937, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1963, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 Clausura, 1998, 2002 Clausura, 2006 Apertura, 2006 Clausura, 2007 Apertura, 2007 Clausura, 2008 Clausura, 2009 Clausura, 2014 Clausura||1933, 1943, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 Apertura, 2003 Apertura, 2003 Clausura, 2008 Apertura, 2010, 2015 Clausura|
|Universidad de Chile||17||8||1940, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2004 Apertura, 2009 Apertura, 2011 Apertura, 2011 Clausura, 2012 Apertura, 2014 Apertura||1957, 1961, 1963, 1971, 1980, 1998, 2005 Clausura, 2006 Apertura|
|Universidad Católica||10||20||1949, 1954, 1961, 1966, 1984, 1987, 1997 Apertura, 2002 Apertura, 2005 Clausura, 2010||1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 Clausura, 1999, 2001, 2002 Clausura, 2007 Apertura, 2009 Clausura, 2011 Apertura, 2013 Transición, 2013 Apertura, 2014 Clausura|
|Cobreloa||8||8||1980, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1992, 2003 Apertura, 2003 Clausura, 2004 Clausura||1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1993, 2000, 2004 Apertura, 2001 Clausura|
|Unión Española||7||9||1943, 1951, 1973, 1975, 1977, 2005 Apertura, 2013 Transición||1945, 1948, 1950, 1970, 1972, 1976, 2004 Clausura, 2009 Apertura, 2012 Clausura|
|Audax Italiano||4||8||1936, 1946, 1948, 1957||1934, 1935, 1938, 1940, 1944, 1947, 1951, 2006 Clausura|
|Magallanes||4||4||1933, 1934, 1935, 1938||1936, 1937, 1942, 1946|
|Everton||4||2||1950, 1952, 1976, 2008 Apertura||1977, 1985|
|Santiago Wanderers||3||4||1958, 1968, 2001||1949, 1956, 1960, 2014 Apertura|
|Palestino||2||4||1955, 1978||1953, 1974, 1986, 2008 Clausura|
|Huachipato||2||0||1974, 2012 Clausura||—|
|Santiago Morning||1||2||1942||1939, 1941|
|Cobresal||1||2||2015 Clausura||1984, 1988|
|O'Higgins||1||1||2013 Apertura||2012 Apertura|
|Unión San Felipe||1||0||1971||—|
- "The strongest National League in the World 2009". IFFHS. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- Chilean League 1934
- Juan Cristóbal Guarello (2008-02-28). "Las patas y el buche" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- Andrés, Juan Pablo (December 11, 2009). "Chile – List of Topscorers". RSSSF.
- Juan Pablo Andrés and Eric Boesenberg (11 December 2014). "Chile – List of Champions and Runners Up". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 May 2015.