LaLiga is one of the most fascinating, intense, and high-quality sports competitions. And it is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining! In fact, LaLiga has its own hashtag: #noesfutboleslaliga!
Founded in 1929, LaLiga has been the soccer stage for some of the best players, coaches, and teams the sport has ever seen! It is a division that has been defined by the two best teams in Spain: Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The best players LaLiga has ever seen have worn the white of Madrid and the red and blue of Barça. Am I wrong?
This post will be your guide and will serve anyone who wants to know everything about LaLiga in Spain explained easily and uncomplicatedly. You will understand what LaLiga is, what differentiates it from the rest of the competitions, and who some of the best players are. Ohh, and you will also discover terms you may have never heard before!
PS: There’s a video at the end showing how passionate Spanish people can be when it comes to football!
So are you ready to become an expert on what is known as the top tier of Spanish soccer and one of the most exciting spectacles in the world of soccer? Let’s get started!
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What is LaLiga?
LaLiga is the top division of Spanish soccer. It is a double round-robin competition between the 20 best men’s teams in Spanish soccer.
LaLiga is also known as Professional Football League. It was founded in 1929 and is part of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
Who is the founder of LaLiga?
The founder of LaLiga is José María Acha Larrea.
LaLiga Tournament Rules
As you already know, LaLiga involves 20 teams.
At the end of each season, the bottom 3 clubs in the standings are relegated to the “Segunda División.” The top 2 teams in the “Segunda Divivión” automatically qualify for LaLiga.
The clubs occupying the 4th and 6th positions will fight for the last place in LaLiga through a playoff.
This playoff consists of the following:
The winner of the final playoff will occupy the last place in LaLiga.
As I have already said, LaLiga teams will play each other in a two-legged format. That is, each team will have the chance to play once in its own stadium and once in the opposing team’s stadium. In total, each club will play 38 matches throughout the league season (19 teams x 2 games each).
The League qualifies you for the Champions League, i.e., if you win LaLiga, you will immediately be eligible for the Champions League. If you finish in the top 4 of LaLiga, you will qualify for this prestigious competition.
Depending on the result at the end of each match, the teams get a series of points: three for the winner, zero for the loser, and one point for each team in case of a tie.
What teams play in LaLiga?
The following teams will play in LaLiga 2022/23:
Power Horse Stadium
Athletic de Bilbao
Atlético de Madrid
Spotify Camp Nou
Estadio Martínez Valero
Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
Estadi Mallorca Son Moix
Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas
Estadio de la Cerámica
Top rivalry matches in LaLiga
“El Clásico”: Barcelona vs Real Madrid
“El Madrid Derbi”: Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid
“El Barcelona Derbi”: Barcelona vs Espanyol
“El Sevilla Derbi”: Sevilla vs Real Betis
“El Derbi Vasco”: Athletic de Bilbao vs Real Sociedad
“El Derbi de la Comunitat”: Valencia vs Villarreal
Who are the top scorers of LaLiga 2022-2023?
Top scorers of LaLiga 2022/23:
Atlético de Madrid
Athletic de Bilbao
Atlético de Madrid
Athletic de Bilbao
Which team has the most LaLiga Titles?
From 1929 to 2022, Real Madrid is the club that has won the most LaLiga titles with a total of 34 titles.
Where are LaLiga’s headquarters?
LaLiga’s headquarters is located at Calle de Torrelaguna, 60, Madrid (Spain).
What is the difference between Copa del Rey and LaLiga?
LaLiga and the Copa del Rey are two different competitions in Spanish football. LaLiga is a double round-robin competition between the top 20 teams in Spain, while the Copa del Rey is a knockout competition involving teams from different divisions.
LaLiga is the Spanish League while Copa Del Rey is the Spanish Cup. Just like the English Premier League and FA cup of England. In addition, LaLiga is organized by the LFP (Professional Football League), and the RFEF (Royal Spanish Football Federation) manages the Cup.
Also, LaLiga qualifies you for the Champions League, while the Copa del Rey qualifies you for the Europa League.
But, still the main difference is that LaLiga is based on the points obtained in the different games during the season (from August to May), and the Copa del Rey is a knockout round.
What is the difference between LaLiga and UEFA Champions League?
As discussed throughout this post, LaLiga is a men’s soccer competition played in Spain. All teams play against each other in a double match (20 teams, 38 games). But also, you should know that LaLiga is affiliated with the UEFA.
And what is UEFA? The UEFA Champions League is Europe’s most prestigious club soccer tournament. In it, 32 soccer teams compete in several rounds to become the best club in European soccer.
Of those 32 teams, 22 qualify automatically, either as UCL defending champion, UEL defending champion, or through their respective national leagues, in the case of Spain with LaLiga. Each of the 12 associations ranked highest in UEFA’s coefficients is guaranteed at least one place, with more places allocated the higher a league’s coefficient.
The 32 teams play each other in a two-round format known as the “group stage.” The top two finishers from each match qualify for the round of 16, thereby advancing out of the first knockout round. Teams qualify by points, with three points for each win, one for a draw, and none for anyone who suffers a loss.
Real Madrid is the soccer team that has won the UEFA Champions League the most times, exactly 14 times to date.
What is the “Pichichi”?
The “pichichi” refers to the soccer player who has scored the most goals in the National League Championship (LaLiga).
Since the 1952-53 season, the sports newspaper “Marca” has awarded an annual prize known as the “Pichichi Trophy” to the player who has scored the most goals in that LaLiga season.
The trophy’s name comes from the nickname assigned to the legendary Athletic de Bilbao striker Rafael Moreno Aranzadi (1892-1922) to recognize his achievements. Aranzadi was nicknamed “pichichi” by his first teammates as he was the smallest of the squad.
Although the name “pichichi” was first used in LaLiga, it is a term that is used today in other soccer tournaments.
What is the “Zarra”?
The “zarra” is the award given to the Spanish “pichichi”.
What is the “Zamora”?
The “zamora” refers to the title awarded by the sports daily “Marca” to the goalkeeper with the fewest goals scored in the two most important divisions of Spanish soccer, the first and second divisions.
What is the “Aliron”?
Nowadays, the term “alirón” or the expression “cantar el alirón” is used to express in a euphoric way a goal achieved. Still, above all, it is used in the sports field, more specifically in soccer.
Would you like to know its origin? Actually, the term arose at the end of the 19th century in Bizkaia.
English workers arrived at that time in Bizkaia. They were hired by an English company that was in charge of iron extraction from the area’s mines.
Every time the miners found a vein of iron, the foreman hung a sign on the mine door that said “All Iron,” which in Spanish means “Todo Hierro.”
This expression began to spread, and those who were not English and could not pronounce “All Iron” correctly said “Alirón.”
Therefore, “alirón” would be the adaptation of the English expression “all iron,” which is used today in soccer.
What is the “Colista”?
The “colista” refers to the last team in the ranking table.
How to follow LaLiga?
If you do not want to miss a single match, I recommend entering LaLiga website. Here you can see all the channels that broadcast all the games depending on your current country.
You will also have access to everything related to LaLiga, news, results, calendar, statistics, photos, and videos, among many other things.
LaLiga is undoubtedly one of the most famous soccer competitions in Spain. Still, you should know that in addition to LaLiga, Spanish clubs play two other important competitions: the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup (the final between the winner of LaLiga and the winner of the Copa del Rey).
If you want to know everything about these competitions and much more, you should take a look at the recommended posts.
Which team has more chances to win this year’s LaLiga? Are you one of those who like to bet?
Inigo Navarro is a seasoned travel writer with a deep understanding of Spain's cities, culture, people and language. Born and raised in Spain, he has spent years exploring the country and is currently one of the most-read Travel Bloggers about Spain. Inigo is also an experienced digital marketer, a father to 4 beautiful children and a huge Real Madrid Fan. ¡Hala Madrid!