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La Liga is the top professional football league in Spanish football. Its full title is The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División. It is contested by 20 teams in a round-robin tournament where each team plays each other, both home and away. The three teams at the bottom of the league get relegated each season to the Segunda Division. They are replaced by the three best teams from Segunda, one of which will have to take place in a play-off.
Nine teams have won the league out of the 62 teams who have taken part in La Liga. The nine teams to have won are FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Deportiva de La Coruna, Real Betis and Sevilla. Real Madrid have won the most La Liga’s with 33 and 23 runners-up. They dominated Spanish football during the 1960s and 1970s, winning 14 titles. Barcelona come second with 26 La Liga Titles and 25 times runners-up. Atletico Madrid have been champions and runners up 10 times a piece.
La Liga has been ranked the top league in Europe over the last five years, according to UEFA’s league coefficient. It has held this accolade more than any other European country, leading it for 22 years. Spanish clubs have dominated European competitions over the years. They have won the most UEFA Champions league with 18, the most EUFA Europa Leagues with 11, UEFA Super Cup – 15 and also the most FIFA Club World Cup, with 7 titles. Added to this, players playing in La Liga have won the most Ballon d’Or award with 23.
It is considered to be one of the most popular leagues in the world. During the 2018-2019 season the average attendance was 26,933. This is the third best of any professional football league in the world.