Football is the game that has won the hearts of many worldwide. The top Spanish soccer league, also known as La Liga, is arguably just as competitive as the English Premier League. But few people know of its history and facts. We seek to change all that in this article.

Continue reading to find out more about the beautiful game below.


Before we get details on how the league currently is, let’s first appreciate some history.

The first soccer league formed in Spain, in 1901, known as the Catalan Football Championship. You can consider it as the beta run of the La Liga. It existed for a time (until 1940) but more attention was drawn to the La Liga.

The top-tier football league in the country was established in 1929. At the time, it was only comprised of 10 teams and only one division. The number of teams would expand to twenty teams in 1987. There was a time between 1995 and 1997 when the league comprised 22 teams.

To promote competition, other divisions were formed. The second-tier Segunda Division B and third-tier Tercera Division allowed for the promotion and relegation of teams depending on their performance come to the end of the season.

Barcelona camp nou

The current format

The league consists of 20 teams, similar to other top-flight leagues across Europe. Each win gets a team three points, a draw results in both teams getting one point each, and a losing team gets zero points. The league is set up in a home and away format with each team playing the other at their home ground and away.

At the end of the season, the top four teams (with the highest points) get to compete in the Champions League, a seasonal league bringing together the best teams across Europe. In the Champions League, you will see teams from Italy, England, France, and more.

The bottom three teams are relegated to the second-tier league, which sees the promotion of a similar number of teams to La Liga.

Due to its high level of competition, teams can come from any part of the country to compete in the Spanish League. However, there seems to be a trend in terms of the origins. From our assessment, most of the teams that compete in the top-tier league come from the capital of Madrid, Barcelona, and the Basque Country. This speaks of the influence built up in such areas over the years.

Number of league titles won

You only have to watch one season of La Liga to appreciate how competitive the league is. Every team fights tooth and nail to attain the title of being the best. And of course, being the best means winning the trophy.

Statistics show that Real Madrid is the team with the most league titles having won 34 of them. In the second place, we have their close rivals Barcelona who have won 26 titles. As you can see, these two teams share the lion’s share of La Liga titles won since inception.

la liga trophy

Other teams that have won the title include Athletic Club, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Athletico Madrid, Betis, and Deportivo de La Coruna.


As you might have guessed, goals determine who is the winner and loser come to the end of the season. For any team to survive in such a competitive league, you must have a reliable and dependable goal scorer to boost morale and bring all three points home.

There is no more proficient scorer in La Liga history than Lionel Messi. He holds the record for the most goals scored, 438 goals. While he might have moved to another league, we project that it might be years until we see another prodigy like him in the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo comes in second place with 311 goals. He played for the top-flight team Real Madrid but has since left to join his teenage-hood team Manchester United in England.

Other worthwhile mentions in the record books for most goals include Alfredo Di Stefano, Raul, and Hugo Sanchez who all played for Real Madrid.

It is no wonder that Real Madrid is the most successful team in the league.


With the information that you have gathered above, you now have details on the history of the Spanish top league. Next time you come together with your friends, you can boast of the comprehensive facts you have on the Spanish league.

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