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La Liga is the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (English: National Professional Football League), also known as the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), La Liga is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top three teams in that division.


A total of 62 teams have competed since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 33 times and Barcelona 26 times. Barcelona won the inaugural La Liga in 1929 with Athletic Bilbao claiming several titles in the league’s early years.


Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated the championship in the 1950s, winning four titles each throughout the decade. Real Madrid dominated from the 1960s through the 1980s, when Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, and Real Sociedad won the league twice in those years. From the 1990s onward, Barcelona has dominated La Liga, winning 16 titles. Although Real Madrid has been prominent, winning 8 titles, La Liga has also seen other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña. In the 2010s, Atlético Madrid has become an increasingly strong team, forming a trio alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona.


La Liga is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world while being the best league in the world at the same time, with an average attendance of 26,983 for league matches in the 2017–18 season. This is the sixth-highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world and the third-highest of any professional association football league in the world, behind the Bundesliga and the Premier League.



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Real Betis is a Spanish football club based in Seville, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 12 September 1907, it plays in La Liga, having won the Segunda División in the 2014–15 season. It holds home games at Estadio Benito Villamarín in the south of the city. Real Betis won the league title in 1935 and the Copa del Rey in 1977 and 2005. Given the club's tumultuous history and many relegations, its motto is ¡Viva el Betis aunque pierda! ("Long live Betis even when they lose!"). The name "Betis" is derived from Baetis, the Roman name for the Guadalquivir river which passes through Seville and which the Roman province there was named after. Real was added in 1914 after the club received patronage from King Alfonso XIII.

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Celta Vigo is a Spanish professional football club based in Vigo, Galicia, currently playing in La Liga. It was founded on 23 August 1923 following the merger of Real Vigo Sporting and Real Fortuna Football Club. Nicknamed Os Celestes (The Sky Blues), they play in sky blue shirts and socks along with white shorts. The club's home stadium is the Abanca-Balaídos, which seats 29,000 spectators. Celta's name is derived from the Celts who were once present in the region. Its main rival is fellow Galician club Deportivo de La Coruña, with whom it contests the Galician derby. Celta have never won the league title nor Copa del Rey, although they have reached the final three times in the latter. One of the team's best seasons was 1970–71, when they finished unbeaten at home and were known as the "giant-killers". Celta came sixth that season and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time. The club finished in their best-ever position of fourth in 2002–03, qualifying for the 2003–04 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Arsenal in the Round of 16. In the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League, Celta reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League for the first time, losing to Manchester United.

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Villarreal is a Spanish football club based in Villarreal, a city in the province of Castellón within the Valencian Community. Founded in 1923, it plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio de la Cerámica, with a capacity of 24,890.[2] The club is nicknamed El Submarí Groguet or El Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) due to its yellow home kit, and due to being a low-profile team compared to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, and regional rivals Valencia, whom they have challenged for trophies over the last decade. Villarreal has often been touted as an example of a small but successful club.

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Espanyol de Barcelona is a professional sports club based in Barcelona, Spain. Founded in 1900, the club plays in La Liga, the highest division of Spanish football and play their home games at the RCDE Stadium, which holds up to 40,500 spectators. Espanyol have won Copa del Rey four times, most recently in 2006, and reached the UEFA Cup final in 1988 and 2007. The team competes in the Barcelona Derby against FC Barcelona.

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Getafe is a Spanish professional football club that plays in La Liga. The club is based in Getafe, a city in the Madrid metropolitan area. Getafe was founded in 1946 and refounded in 1983. Getafe participated in the top level of Spanish football for 12 years between 2004 and 2016. The club's home stadium is Coliseum Alfonso Pérez which was opened in 1998 and can hold 17,393 spectators. Getafe Football Club was founded in 1924, only playing in lower divisions from 1928 to 1932. After the Spanish Civil War, in 1945 five Getafe locals – Enrique Condes García, Aurelio Miranda Olavaria, Antonio Corridor Lozano, Manuel Serrano Vergara and Miguel Cubero Francés – while meeting at La Marquesina bar, decided to form a local team. Officially founded on 24 February 1946, the club was named Club Getafe Deportivo.

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Rayo Vallecano is a Spanish football team based in Madrid, in the neighbourhood of Vallecas. Rayo was founded on 29 May 1924, and currently compete in La Liga following promotion from the Segunda División. Home games are held at the 14,708-seater Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas stadium. Rayo has competed in one European competition, the UEFA Cup in the 2000–01 season. The club made it to the quarter-finals before losing to Spanish club Alavés 4–2 on aggregate. Rayo Vallecano saw the light of day on 29 May 1924 in the hometown of Prudencia Priego, wife of the club's first president Julián Huerta. Greatly inspired by River Plate (a Football club from Argentina), in 1949, after an agreement with Atlético Madrid, a red diagonal stripe was added to the team's kit, and the club reached Tercera División for the first time in its history.

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Atlético Madrid is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid, that play in La Liga. The club play their home games at the Wanda Metropolitano, which has a capacity of 68,000. The club was founded on 26 April 1903 as Athletic Club Sucursal de Madrid by three Basque students living in Madrid. These founders saw the new club as a youth branch of their childhood team, Athletic Bilbao who they had just seen win the 1903 Copa del Rey Final in the city. In 1904, they were joined by dissident members of Real Madrid.

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Barcelona is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, Spanish, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" ("More than a club"). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the fourth-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.06 billion, and the world's second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €690.4 million. The official Barcelona anthem is the "Cant del Barça", written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs.

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Athletic Bilbao is a professional football club, based in Bilbao, in the Basque Country (Spain). They are known as Los Leones (The Lions) because their stadium was built near a church called San Mamés (Saint Mammes). Mammes was an early Christian thrown to the lions by the Romans. Mammes pacified the lions and was later made a saint.

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Real Sociedad is a Spanish football club based in the city of San Sebastián, Basque Country, founded on 7 September 1909. It plays its home matches at the Anoeta Stadium. Real Sociedad won the Liga title in 1980–81 and 1981–82, and last finished runners-up in 2002–03. The club has also won the Copa del Rey twice, in 1909 and 1987. It contests the Basque derby against rivals Athletic Bilbao. Real Sociedad were founder members of La Liga in 1929, and its longest spell in the top flight was for 40 seasons, from 1967 to 2007.

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Valencia is a Spanish football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups (the predecessor to the UEFA Cup), 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 and German club Bayern Munich on penalties after a 1–1 draw in 2001. Valencia were also members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs and since its end has been part of the original members of the European Club Association. 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 49,500-seater Mestalla since 1923. They were due to move into the new 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the northwest of the city in 2013, but the final move date has been postponed while the stadium remains under construction.

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Levante Unión Deportiva is a Spanish football club based in Valencia, in the namesake autonomous community. Founded on 9 September 1909, it plays in La Liga, holding home games at Ciutat de Valencia Stadium.

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Sociedad Deportiva Huesca is a Spanish football club in Huesca, in the autonomous community of Aragon. Founded in 29 March 1960, SD Huesca is currently playing their very first season in La Liga in 2018, after promotion from La Liga 2 where they were runner-up last season. As recently as 2004, they were still participating in Tercera División (the 4th Teir of Spanish Football). SD Huesca play their home games at Estadio El Alcoraz, which seats 7,638 spectators.

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Alavés is a Spanish football club based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. Founded on 23 January 1921 as Sport Friends Club, it plays in the highest football category of The Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional, La Liga, since the 2016–17 season. It is recognized as the third most successful team in the Basque Country following Athletic Club of Bilbao and Real Sociedad de Futbol of San Sebastián. Its biggest success was in 2001 when, in the year of its debut in European competition, it was one of the finalists in the 2001 UEFA Cup Final against Liverpool, being defeated 5–4 by golden goal. In 2017, the club reached the final of the Copa del Rey, losing out 3–1 to Barcelona.

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Club Deportivo Leganés is a Spanish football team from Leganés, in the outskirts of Madrid. Founded on 23 June 1928 it plays in the Primera División, holding home games at Estadio Municipal de Butarque, which seats 12,450 spectators.

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Real Valladolid is a football club based in Valladolid, Spain, in the autonomous community of Castile and León, from where the nickname Pucela is derived. The colors that identify the club are the violet and white, used in the form of streaks in his uniform holder from its foundation on 20 June 1928. It plays in La Liga, holding home games at the Estadio José Zorrilla, which seats 26,512 spectators. Valladolid's honors include a single trophy of great relevance, the defunct Copa de la Liga 1983/84. It has been runner-up in the Copa del Rey on two occasions (1949/50 and 1988/89), and has participated in two editions of the UEFA Cup (1984/85 and 1997/98) and also one edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1989/90). The team subsidiary, the Real Valladolid B, currently play in the Segunda División B.

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Sevilla, is Spain's second oldest sporting club solely devoted to football, being Recreativo de Huelva the oldest one. Sevilla FC is based in Seville, the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. Sevilla FC plays in Spain's top flight, La Liga. The club was formed on 25 January 1890, Scot Mr. Edward Farquharson Johnston being their first president. A few years later, on 14 October 1905, the club's articles of association were registered in the Civil Government of Seville under the presidency of the Jerez-born José Luis Gallegos Arnosa. Sevilla FC is also the most successful club in Andalusia, winning a national league title in 1945–46, five Spanish Cups (1935, 1939, 1948, 2007 and 2010), one Spanish Super Cup (2007), a record five UEFA Cups/UEFA Europa Leagues (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016) and the 2006 UEFA Super Cup. They were also designated by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the World's best club in 2006 and 2007, thus being the first club to achieve this distinction in two consecutive years.

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Eibar is a Spanish football club based in Eibar, Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous Basque Country. Founded on 30 November 1940, the team currently plays in La Liga, having been promoted to the top tier of Spanish football for the first time in 2014. They also participated in 26 Segunda División seasons (a spell in the 1950s, and most of the 1990s and 2000s), spending the rest of their history competing at lower levels.

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Girona Futbol Club, S.A.D. is a professional football club based in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Founded on 23 July 1930, it plays in La Liga, having been promoted to the first-division league for the first time at the end of the 2016–17 season. Girona holds its home matches at the 14,450-capacity Estadi Montilivi. On 23 July 1930, in the café Norat in La Rambla of Girona, Girona Futbol Club was founded upon the dissolution of Unió Esportiva Girona for economic reasons. The team subsequently entered in the second division of the Catalan Championships. Its first official match was against Colònia Artigas with the lineup: Florenza, Teixidor, Farró, Flavià, Comas, Corradi, Ferrer, Escuder, Clara, Torrellas and Taradellas.

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Real Madrid, is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid. Founded on 6 March 1902 as the Madrid Football Club, the club has traditionally 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 royal crown in the emblem. The team has played its home matches in the 81,044-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. Unlike most European sporting entities, Real Madrid's members (socios) have owned and operated the club throughout its history.

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Reference
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