La Liga

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La Liga
LaLiga Santander.svg
Country Spain
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1929
Number of teams 20 (from 1997–98)
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Segunda División
Domestic cup(s) Copa del Rey
Supercopa de España
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Barcelona (24 titles)
Most championships Real Madrid (32 titles)
TV partners List of broadcasters
Website www.laliga.es
2016–17 season

The Primera División,[a] commonly known as La Liga[b] and as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons,[1] is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system. Administrated by the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), La Liga is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top two teams in that division plus the winner of a play-off.

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 (14 titles) and Real Madrid (7 titles) 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.

According to UEFA's league coefficient, La Liga has been the top league in Europe over the last five years, and has produced the continent's top-rated club more times (18) than any other league, double that of second-placed Serie A. Its clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League (16) and UEFA Europa League (10) titles, and its players have accumulated the highest number of (FIFA) Ballon d'Or awards (19).

La Liga is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world, with an average attendance of 26,741 for league matches in the 2014–15 season. This is the sixth-highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world and the fourth-highest of any professional association football league in the world, behind the Bundesliga, the Premier League, and the Indian Super League.[2][3][4]

Competition format[edit]

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 games. 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.

Promotion and relegation[edit]

A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Primera División and the Segunda División. The three lowest placed teams in La Liga are relegated to the Segunda División, and the top two teams from the Segunda División promoted to La Liga, with an additional club promoted after a series of play-offs involving the third, fourth, fifth and sixth placed clubs. In the 2014–15 season, Betis, Sporting de Gijón and Las Palmas were promoted to the Primera Division. Below is a complete record of how many teams played in each season throughout the league's history;

 
  • 1929–1934: 10 clubs
  • 1934–1941: 12 clubs
  • 1941–1950: 14 clubs
  • 1950–1971: 16 clubs
  • 1971–1987: 18 clubs
  • 1987–1995: 20 clubs
  • 1995–1997: 22 clubs
  • 1997–present: 20 clubs

Ranking of clubs on equal points[edit]

If points are equal between two or more clubs, the rules are:[5]

  • If all clubs involved have played each other twice:
    • If the tie is between two clubs, then the tie is broken using the goal difference for the two matches those clubs have played against each other (without away goals rule)
    • If the tie is between more than two clubs, then the tie is broken using the games the clubs have played against each other:
      • a) head-to-head points
      • b) head-to-head goal difference
      • c) head-to-head goals scored
  • If two legged games between all clubs involved have not been played, or the tie is not broken by the rules above, it is broken using:
    • a) total goal difference
    • b) total goals scored
  • If the tie is still not broken, the winner will be determined by Fair Play scales.[6] These are:
    • yellow card, 1 point
    • doubled yellow card/ejection, 2 points
    • direct red card, 3 points
    • suspension or disqualification of coach, executive or other club personnel (outside referees' decisions), 5 points
    • misconduct of the supporters: mild 5 points, serious 6 points, very serious 7 points
    • stadium closure, 10 points
    • if the Competition Committee removes a penalty, the points are also removed
  • If the tie is still not broken, it will be resolved with a tie-break match in a neutral stadium.

Qualifying for European competitions[edit]

Barcelona against Schalke 04 in the 2008 UEFA Champions League

The top teams in La Liga qualify for the UEFA Champions League. The first, second, and third placed teams directly enter the group stage, and the fourth placed team enters the playoffs for the group stage of UEFA Champions League. Teams placed fifth and sixth play in the UEFA Europa League, along with the cup winners. 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.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

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, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol eventually agreed on the ten teams who would form the first Primera División in 1929. Barcelona, Real Madrid, 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 and Racing de Santander qualified through a knockout competition. Only three of the founding clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, have never been relegated from the Primera División.

The 1930s[edit]

Although Barcelona won the very first Liga in 1929 and Real Madrid won their first titles in 1932 and 1933, it was Athletic Bilbao that set the early pace winning Primera División in 1930, 1931, 1934 and 1936. 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. This action was taken after RFEF was asked to recognise Levante FC's Copa de la España Libre win as equivalent to Copa del Rey trophy. Nevertheless, the governing body of Spanish football has not made an outright decision yet.

The 1940s[edit]

When the Primera División resumed after the Spanish Civil War, it was Atlético Aviación (nowadays Atlético Madrid), Valencia, and Sevilla that initially emerged as the strongest clubs. Atlético were only awarded a place during the 1939–40 season as a replacement for Real Oviedo, whose ground had been damaged during the war. The club subsequently won their first Liga title and retained it in 1941. While other clubs lost players to exile, execution, and as casualties of the war, the Atlético team was reinforced by a merger. The young, pre-war squad of Valencia had also remained intact and in the post-war years matured into champions, gaining three Liga titles in 1942, 1944, and 1947. They were also runners-up in 1948 and 1949. Sevilla also enjoyed a brief golden era, finishing as runners-up in 1940 and 1942 before winning their only title to date in 1946. By the latter part of the decade, Barcelona began to emerge as a force when they were crowned champions in 1945, 1948 and 1949.

Di Stéfano, Puskás, Kubala and Suárez[edit]

Naturalised Argentine Alfredo Di Stéfano was part of a dominant Real Madrid side in the 1950s

Although Atlético Madrid, previously known as Atlético Aviación, were champions in 1950 and 1951 under catenaccio mastermind Helenio Herrera, the 1950s saw the beginning of the Barcelona/Real Madrid dominance. During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, there were strict limits imposed on foreign players. In most cases, clubs could only have three foreign players in their squads, meaning that at least eight local players had to play in every game. During the 1950s, however, these rules were circumvented by Real Madrid and Barcelona, who naturalized Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, and Ladislav Kubala. Inspired by Kubala, Barça won the title in 1952 and 1953. Di Stéfano, Puskás, and Francisco Gento formed the nucleus of the Real Madrid team that dominated the second half of the 1950s. Madrid won the first division for the first time as Real Madrid in 1954 and retained its title in 1955. They were winners again in 1957 and 1958, with only Athletic Bilbao interrupting their sequence. During this period, Real Madrid also won an unprecedented five consecutive European Cups. Barcelona, with a team coached by Helenio Herrera and featuring Luis Suárez, won the title in 1959 and 1960.

The Madrid years[edit]

Between 1961 and 1980, Real Madrid dominated the Primera División, being crowned champions 14 times, although their only European Cup triumph during this era came in 1966, a sharp contrast to their five successive victories in the competition starting with the first final in 1956.

This included a five-in-a-row sequence from 1961 to 1965 and two three-in-a-row sequences (1967–1969 and 1978–1980). During this era, only Atlético Madrid offered Real Madrid any serious challenge, adding four more titles to their tally in 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1977. Of the other clubs, only Valencia in 1971 and the Johan Cruyff-inspired Barcelona of 1974 managed to break the dominance of Real Madrid.

The 1980s[edit]

The Madrid winning sequence was ended more significantly in 1981 when Real Sociedad won their first-ever title. They retained it in 1982 and their two in a row was followed by another by their fellow Basques Athletic Bilbao, who won back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984. Terry Venables led Barcelona to a solitary title in 1985 before Real Madrid won again another five in a row sequence (1986–1990) with a team guided by Leo Beenhakker and including Hugo Sánchez and the legendary La Quinta del BuitreEmilio Butragueño, Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel and Miguel Pardeza.[citation needed]

The 1990s[edit]

Johan Cruyff returned to Barcelona as manager in 1988, and assembled the legendary Dream Team. Cruyff introduced players like Pep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, Txiki Begiristain, Andoni Goikoetxea, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário and Hristo Stoichkov. This team won Primera División four times between 1991 and 1994 and won the European Cup in 1992. Laudrup then moved to arch-rivals Real Madrid, and helped them end Barcelona's run in 1995. Atlético Madrid won their ninth Primera División title in 1996 before Real Madrid added another Liga trophy to their cabinet in 1997. After the success of Cruyff, another Dutchman – Ajax manager Louis van Gaal – arrived at the Camp Nou, and with the talents of Luís Figo, Luis Enrique, and Rivaldo, Barcelona again won the title in 1998 and 1999.

The 2000s[edit]

As Primera División entered a new century, the Big Two of Real Madrid and Barcelona found themselves facing new challengers. Between 1993 and 2004, Deportivo La Coruña finished in the top three on ten occasions, a better record than either Real Madrid or Barcelona, and in 2000, under Javier Irureta, they became the ninth team to be crowned champions. Real Madrid won two more Liga titles in 2001 and 2003 and also the UEFA Champions League in 2000 and 2002, and won their 30th league title in 2007 after a three-year drought. They were challenged by a re-emerging Valencia in both competitions. Under the management of Héctor Cúper, Valencia finished as Champions League runners-up in 2000 and 2001. His successor, Rafael Benítez, built on this and led the club to a Liga title in 2002 and winning the double with a league title and the UEFA Cup in 2004. The 2004–05 season saw a resurgent Barcelona, inspired by the brilliant Ronaldinho, win their first title of the new century, in addition to the Liga-Champions League double in 2005–06. With world-class players like Raúl, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gonzalo Higuaín, Real Madrid won back-to-back La Liga titles in 2006–07 and 2007–08 season. Under Pep Guardiola's Dream Team, powered by La Masia talents such as Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona added three straight Liga titles (2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11).

The 2010s[edit]

In the 2011–12 season, Real Madrid won its 32nd title under the management of José Mourinho with a record-breaking points tally of 100, a record 121 number of goals scored, most overall (32) and away (16) wins in a single season in La Liga history. Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova matched the 100-point record a year later in 2012–13 while battling terminal cancer. Atlético Madrid won the 2013–14 title, their first in 18 years, and the first title in ten years that Real Madrid or Barcelona had not won. Barcelona won the 2014–15 season as well as the 2015–16 season resulting in 6 titles in 8 years.

Teams[edit]

Location of teams in 2016–17 La Liga (Canary Islands)

A total of 20 teams contest the league in its current season, including 17 sides from the 2015–16 season and three promoted from the 2015–16 Segunda División. These are two clubs promoted directly from that division (Alavés and Leganés), and the winner of the play-offs, Osasuna.

Stadiums and locations[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Alavés Vitoria-Gasteiz Mendizorrotza 19,840[7]
Athletic Bilbao Bilbao San Mamés 53,289[8]
Atlético Madrid Madrid Vicente Calderón 54,907[9]
Barcelona Barcelona Camp Nou 99,354[10]
Celta Vigo Vigo Balaídos 29,000[11]
Deportivo La Coruña A Coruña Riazor 34,600[12]
Eibar Eibar Ipurua 6,285[13]
Espanyol Barcelona RCDE Stadium 40,500[14]
Granada Granada Nuevo Los Cármenes 22,369[15]
Las Palmas Las Palmas Gran Canaria 33,111[16]
Leganés Leganés Butarque 8,138[17]
Málaga Málaga La Rosaleda 30,044[18]
Osasuna Pamplona El Sadar 18,761[19]
Real Betis Seville Benito Villamarín 51,700[20]
Real Madrid Madrid Santiago Bernabéu 81,044[21]
Real Sociedad San Sebastián Anoeta 32,000[22]
Sevilla Seville Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán 42,714[23]
Sporting Gijón Gijón El Molinón 30,000[24]
Valencia Valencia Mestalla 55,000[25]
Villarreal Villarreal El Madrigal 24,890[26]

La Liga clubs in Europe[edit]

Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League in 2013

The Primera División is currently first in the UEFA rankings of European leagues based on their performances in European competitions over a five-year period, ahead of Germany's Bundesliga in second and England's Premier League in third.[27]

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are in the top ten most successful clubs in European football in terms of total European trophies.[citation needed] These three clubs, along with Sevilla and Atlético Madrid, are five of the most successful teams in European competition history; these five are the only Spanish clubs to have won five or more international trophies. Deportivo La Coruña are the fifth-most participating Spanish team in the Champions League — after Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid — with five Champions League appearances in a row, including a semifinal appearance in 2003–04.[28]

In 2005–06, Barcelona won the Champions League and Sevilla won the UEFA Cup, making the La Liga the first league to do the European "double" since 1997. On 25 August 2015, La Liga became the only league to classify five teams for the UEFA Champions League group stage (Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia).

Champions[edit]

Performance by club[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning seasons
Real Madrid
32
23
1931–32, 1932–33, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2011–12
Barcelona
24
24
1928–29, 1944–45, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1973–74, 1984–85, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16
Atlético Madrid
10
8
1939–40, 1940–41, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1995–96, 2013–14
Athletic Bilbao
8
7
1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1942–43, 1955–56, 1982–83, 1983–84
Valencia
6
6
1941–42, 1943–44, 1946–47, 1970–71, 2001–02, 2003–04
Real Sociedad
2
3
1980–81, 1981–82
Deportivo La Coruña
1
5
1999–00
Sevilla
1
4
1945–46
Real Betis
1
0
1934–35

All-time La Liga table[edit]

The All-time La Liga table[29] is an overall record of all match results, points, and goals of every team that has played in La Liga since its inception in 1929. The table is accurate as of the end of the 2015–16 season.[30] Teams in bold are part of the 2016–17 La Liga.

Pos Team S Pts GP W D L GF GA 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th T Debut Since/
Last App
Best
1 Real Madrid 85 4293 2724 1618 546 560 5841 3099 32 23 8 8 3 4 78 1929 1929 1
2 Barcelona 85 4169 2724 1553 554 617 5784 3077 24 24 12 12 4 6 82 1929 1929 1
3 Atlético Madrid 79 3364 2576 1218 589 769 4464 3282 10 8 15 9 7 6 55 1929 2002–03 1
4 Valencia 81 3340 2626 1174 609 843 4342 3404 6 6 10 11 10 7 50 1931–32 1987–88 1
5 Athletic Bilbao 85 3305 2724 1190 627 907 4578 3657 8 7 10 5 8 10 49 1929 1929 1
6 Sevilla 72 2747 2370 969 522 879 3611 3324 1 4 4 4 12 6 31 1934–35 2001–02 1
7 Espanyol 81 2736 2588 933 597 1058 3560 3839 4 5 2 5 16 1929 1994–95 3
8 Real Sociedad 69 2509 2264 845 570 849 3169 3177 2 3 2 5 4 2 18 1929 2010–11 1
9 Zaragoza 58 2109 1986 698 522 766 2683 2847 1 4 5 4 4 18 1939–40 2012–13 2
10 Betis 50 1845 1690 596 431 663 2118 2428 1 2 3 4 4 14 1932–33 2015–16 1
11 Deportivo 44 1778 1492 555 380 557 2009 2133 1 5 4 1 1 12 1941–42 2014–15 1
12 Celta Vigo 50 1744 1660 573 383 704 2225 2555 2 4 5 11 1939–40 2012–13 4
13 Valladolid 42 1471 1466 463 384 619 1767 2180 1 1 1 3 1948–49 2013–14 4
14 Racing Santander 44 1416 1428 453 336 639 1843 2368 1 1 2 1 5 1929 2011–12 2
15 Sporting Gijón 42 1358 1420 464 348 608 1711 2080 1 1 2 2 1 7 1944–45 2015–16 2
16 Osasuna 36 1329 1280 422 317 541 1460 1740 2 2 2 6 1935–36 2016–17 4
17 Oviedo 38 1174 1192 408 292 492 1642 1951 3 2 2 4 11 1933–34 2000–01 3
18 Mallorca 27 1148 988 333 256 399 1182 1371 2 2 1 5 1960–61 2012–13 3
19 Las Palmas 32 981 1058 357 233 468 1294 1672 1 1 1 1 1 5 1951–52 2015–16 2
20 Villarreal 16 903 608 247 162 199 836 756 1 1 2 2 2 8 1998–99 2013–14 2
21 Málaga 15 725 570 192 149 229 706 782 1 1 2 1999–00 2008–09 4
22 Rayo Vallecano 17 662 652 189 148 305 760 1088 1977–78 2015–16 8
23 Granada 22 647 704 214 167 323 789 1075 2 2 1941–42 2011–12 6
24 Elche 21 606 678 203 180 295 750 1022 1 1 2 1959–60 2014–15 5
25 Getafe 12 553 456 147 112 197 520 633 1 1 2004–05 2015–16 6
26 CD Málaga 20 543 647 186 171 290 666 926 1949–50 1989–90 7
27 Hércules 20 538 628 184 149 295 716 1050 1 4 5 1935–36 2010–11 5
28 Tenerife 13 510 494 155 128 211 619 744 2 2 1961–62 2009–10 5
29 Murcia 18 445 586 145 143 298 607 992 1940–41 2007–08 11
30 Levante 11 416 402 113 95 194 430 632 1 1 1963–64 2015–16 6
31 Salamanca 12 375 423 123 102 198 422 581 1974–75 1998–99 7
32 Alavés 11 366 342 111 68 163 417 585 1 1 1930–31 2016–17 6
33 Sabadell 14 353 426 129 95 202 492 720 1 1 2 1943–44 1987–88 4
34 Cádiz 12 343 448 104 127 217 393 662 1977–78 2005–06 12
35 Logroñés 9 293 346 96 92 158 291 489 1987–88 1996–97 7
36 Castellón 11 285 334 103 79 152 419 588 1 2 3 1941–42 1990–91 4
37 Albacete 7 277 270 76 76 118 320 410 1991–92 2004–05 7
38 Almería 6 242 228 62 56 110 244 366 2007–08 2014–15 8
39 Córdoba 9 230 282 82 63 137 285 430 1 1 1962–63 2014–15 5
40 Compostela 4 190 160 52 45 63 199 241 1994–95 1997–98 10
41 Recreativo 5 188 186 50 46 90 202 296 1978–79 2008–09 8
42 Burgos CF 6 168 204 59 50 95 216 310 1971–72 1979–80 12
43 Pontevedra 6 150 180 53 44 83 165 221 1963–64 1969–70 7
44 Numancia 4 148 152 37 37 78 155 253 1999–00 2008–09 17
45 Arenas 7 107 130 43 21 66 227 308 1 3 4 1929 1934–35 3
46 Real Burgos 3 96 114 26 44 44 101 139 1990–91 1992–93 9
47 Gimnàstic 4 91 116 34 16 66 181 295 1947–48 2006–07 7
48 Extremadura 2 83 80 20 23 37 62 117 1996–97 1998–99 17
49 Mérida 2 81 80 19 24 37 70 115 1995–96 1997–98 19
50 Eibar 2 78 76 20 18 38 83 116 2014–15 2014–15 14
51 Alcoyano 4 76 108 30 16 62 145 252 1945–46 1950–51 10
52 Jaén 3 71 90 29 13 48 121 183 1953–54 1957–58 14
53 Real Unión 4 56 72 21 14 37 153 184 1 1 1929 1931–32 6
54 AD Almería 2 52 68 17 18 33 71 116 1979–80 1980–81 10
55 Europa 3 42 54 18 6 30 97 131 1929 1930–31 8
56 Lleida 2 40 68 13 14 41 70 182 1950–51 1993–94 16
57 Xerez 1 34 38 8 10 20 38 66 2009–10 2009–10 20
58 Condal 1 22 30 7 8 15 37 57 1956–57 1956–57 16
59 Atlético Tetuán 1 19 30 7 5 18 51 85 1951–52 1951–52 16
60 Cultural Leonesa 1 14 30 5 4 21 34 65 1955–56 1955–56 15
61 Leganés 1 4 2 1 1 0 1 0 2016–17 2016–17

League or status at 2015–16:

2015–16 La Liga
2015–16 Segunda División
2015–16 Segunda División B
2015–16 Tercera División
2015–16 Divisiones Regionales
To be determined
Clubs that no longer exist

Players[edit]

Eligibility of non-EU players[edit]

In La Liga, players can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry, he can claim Spanish citizenship after playing in Spain for five years.[citation needed] Sometimes, this can lead to a triple-citizenship situation; for example, Leo Franco, who was born in Argentina, is of Italian heritage yet can claim a Spanish passport, having played in La Liga for over five years.[dubious ]

In addition, players from the ACP countries — countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement — are not counted against non-EU quotas due to the Kolpak ruling.

Individual awards[edit]

Until the season 2008–09, no official awards for individuals in La Liga existed. Following[clarification needed] the 2008–09 season, the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) governing body sanctioned LFP Awards to player individuals. Additional awards relating to La Liga are distributed, some are sanctioned by the LFP or the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and therefore not regarded as official.[clarification needed]

The most notable of these are four awarded by Spain's biggest sports paper, Marca, namely the Pichichi Trophy, awarded to the top scorer of the season; the Ricardo Zamora Trophy for the goalkeeper with the least "goals-to-games" ratio; the Trofeo Alfredo di Stéfano, for the player judged to be the best overall player in the division; and the Zarra Trophy, awarded to the Spanish domestic player with the highest goal total in La Liga.

Since the 2013–14 season, La Liga also awards the monthly Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards.

Transfers[edit]

The first La Liga player to be involved in a transfer which broke the world record was Luis Suárez in 1961, who moved from Barcelona to Internazionale for £152,000. Twelve years later, Johan Cruyff was the first player to join a La Liga club for a record fee, £922,000 from Ajax to Barcelona. In 1982, Barcelona again set the record by signing Diego Maradona from Boca Juniors for £3 million.[31] Real Betis set the world record in 1998 when they signed Denílson from São Paulo for £21.5 million.[32]

Five of the last six world transfer records have been set by Real Madrid, signing Luís Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo and finally in 2013 Gareth Bale, who was bought for £85.3 million (€103.4 million / $140 million) from Tottenham Hotspur.[citation needed]

Player records[edit]

Top scorers[edit]

As of matches played 27 November 2016[33]
Rank Nat Name Club Years Goals Apps Ratio
1 Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 2004– 321 358 0.9
2 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 2009– 270 246 1.1
3 Spain Telmo Zarra Athletic Bilbao 1940–1955 251 278 0.9
4 Mexico Hugo Sánchez Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid & Rayo Vallecano 1981–1994 234 347 0.7
5 Spain Raúl Real Madrid 1994–2010 228 550 0.4
6 Spain Alfredo Di Stéfano Real Madrid & Espanyol 1953–1966 227 329 0.7
7 Spain César Rodríguez Granada, Barcelona, Cultural Leonesa & Elche 1939–1955 223 353 0.6
8 Spain Quini Sporting Gijón & Barcelona 1970–1987 219 448 0.5
9 Spain Pahiño Celta, Real Madrid & Deportivo 1943–1956 210 278 0.8
10 Spain Edmundo Suárez Valencia & Alcoyano 1939–1950 195 231 0.8

Most appearances[edit]

Updated as of 23 May 2015

Rank Nat Name Years Apps Goals
1 Spain Andoni Zubizarreta 1981–1998 622 0
2 Spain Raúl 1994–2010 550 228
3 Spain Eusebio Sacristán 1983–2002 543 36
4 Spain Francisco Buyo 1980–1997 543 0
5 Spain Manuel Sanchís 1983–2001 523 32
6 Spain Iker Casillas 1999–2015 510 0
7 Spain Xavi 1998–2015 505 58
8 Spain Miquel Soler 1983–2003 504 12
9 Spain Fernando Hierro 1987–2003 497 104
10 Spain José Mari Bakero 1980–1997 483 139

Sponsors[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Spanish: [pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon]; "First Division"
  2. ^ /læ ˈlɡə/, Spanish: [la ˈliɣa]; "The League"

References[edit]

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  13. ^ "IPURUA Y ATXABALPE". SD Eibar. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "RCDE Stadium – Ficha Técnica". RCD Espanyol. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "DATOS DEL CLUB". Granada CF. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Estadio de Gran Canaria". UD Las Palmas. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Instalaciones". CD Leganés. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "ESTADIO LA ROSALEDA". Málaga CF. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  19. ^ "El Club. Datos Generales." (in Spanish). CA Osasuna. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "Real Betis Balompié – Estadio Benito Villamarín". Real Betis. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  21. ^ "Santiago Bernabéu Stadium". Real Madrid C.F. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "El estadio – Real Sociedad de Fútbol". Real Sociedad. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Sevilla Fútbol Club – La entidad". Sevilla FC. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  24. ^ "El Molinón". Sporting Gijón. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  25. ^ "Valencia Club de Fútbol – Camp de Mestalla". Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "2011/12 UEFA Champions League statistics handbook – Clubs continued" (PDF). UEFA. 
  27. ^ "UEFA ranking of European leagues". Bert Kassies. May 2011. 
  28. ^ "UEFA club competitions press kit (.PDF archive, page 23)" (PDF). UEFA Official Website. Retrieved 25 August 2006. 
  29. ^ "Clasificación Histórica Liga BBVA". LFP. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  30. ^ All Time Table of Spanish team in La Liga Rsssf.com
  31. ^ "Gareth Bale: The history of the world transfer record". BBC Sport. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
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  33. ^ Football records in Spain#Top 30 Goalscorers, All time

External links[edit]