Spanish Football Leagues and Competitions

The Spanish football league consists of multiple professional, semi-professional and non-professional divisions. The top 2 divisions are known as the La Liga and La Liga 2. There are 3 semi-professional divisions known as the Primera Federacion, Segunda Federacion, and Tercera Federacion as well as multiple non-professional leagues below that. The semi-professional leagues and below are all split into groups which all battle for promotion.

The La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world with great, historic teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona. The league has been home to great players, games, derbies and thrilling cup competitions. In this article we are going to go through Spanish football, its leagues, competitions and national team. 

Spanish National Team

Before we look at the domestic leagues in Spain, first we are going to take a look at the Spanish national team. The Spanish national team is rich in history having won an array of trophies and having some of the greatest players of all time within the squad. 

Spain is the only national team to have won 3 consecutive major titles, including two Euro trophies in 2008 and 2012 and a world cup in 2010. They are also the only European team to win a world cup outside of Europe. Spain and France are also the only two teams to have won the Euros, World cup and Nations league. 

Spain won their first Euro trophy in 1964 and then went 44 years without a trophy. This ended in 2008 when Spain won another Euro competition and started their period of dominance on a National stage. Playing the style of football dubbed ‘tiki-taka’, a system which aims to move the ball up the pitch using short passes and movements. They played high possession football with Legends such as Xavi, Iniesta, David Silva and Xabi Alonso. This period had not just the best Spanish side ever but was also one of the national sides anyone has ever seen. They then won the World cup in 2010 and another Euro in 2012. 

They have most recently won the Nations league in 2023. Their current team features youngsters such as Gavi and Pedri as well as players such as Laporte, Jordi Alba, Rodri, Alavaro Morata and Ansu Fati. Alvaro Morata is the 5th all time top goal scorer for Spain with David Villa currently holding the record with 59 goals in 98 appearances averaging 0.6 goals a game.

Spanish La Liga

La Liga is a competition that is almost 100 years old. It was founded in 1929 and has ever since been one of the most prestigious domestic leagues in the world. The La Liga fixtures have 20 teams, the bottom 3 are relegated to the Segunda Division and the top 3 teams from the Segunda Division are promoted to the La Liga. 

La Liga is home to many historic clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. Real Madrid have the most titles with a whopping 35 followed by Barcelona with 27 and Atletico Madrid with 11. The league was once dominated by clubs Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao. Real Sociedad have 2 titles to their name while Bilbao have 8. Athletic Bilbao share a fierce rivalry with Real Socieded, both being top clubs in Basque. Although Real Madrid have a derby with Atletico Madrid there is no rivalry or game bigger than El Classico. El Classico is the name given to the fixture of Real Madrid vs Barcelona. Both teams have dominated Spain and Europe and have held some of the best players of all time. In recent times both teams have had the 2 best players in the world being Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. 

Spanish Segunda Division

The Spanish Segunda Division was also formed in 1929 and is the second most important division in Spain. 22 teams compete in the Segunda Division with 4 being eligible for relegation each season and replaced with 4 clubs from the division below. The clubs in this league all battle for promotion into the elusive La Liga. Murcia are the club to have won the Segunda Division the most with 8 titles whereas Malaga are the club that have been promoted the most winning promotion 13 times.

Copa Del Rey

The Copa Del Rey is a domestic knockout competition in Spain. The competition was founded in 1903, which makes it the oldest Spanish footballing competition in the world. Cope Del Rey winners are awarded a spot in the Europa League, if the winner of the Copa Del Rey has already qualified for the Europa or Champions League then the spot goes to the next highest finishing team. All teams within Spain’s football system are eligible to compete in this competition, with preliminary rounds in place before teams from higher divisions are introduced. 

The team with the most Copa Del Reys is Barcellona with 31. Second place is Athletic Bilbao with 23 who remain ahead of Real Madrid with 20 Copa Del Rey trophies.

Supercopa De España 

Founded in 1982 the Supercopa is a Spanish competition that features the La Liga winners and runner-ups as well as The finalists from the Copa Del Rey. The 4 teams are placed into a knockout style tournament.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have unsurprisingly dominated this competition as well. Barcelona have 14 titles while Real Madrid have 12. The next best performing teams are Athletic Bilbao and Deportivo La Coruna who both have 3 titles.