Football

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Spanish Football

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Football

Football is a favourite spectator sport in Andalucia amongst a huge number of British and Spanish like. The foreign influence has increased the popularity of football over the years and there are usually local matches, where you can support or even join the team. For foreigners living abroad, a football match can be a great way to meet like-minded local people in a relaxed, yet lively atmosphere. You might learn a few choice Spanish phrases that you should check out before you incorporate them into your everyday vocabulary!

 

 

Since so many British people have settled in Andalucia and especially along the Costa del Sol, over the last 20 years or so, there is now a large English speaking fraternity that follows the Liga and especially Malaga Football Club.

We currently have pages on some of the Andalucian teams, from where you can read more information and buy tickets.

The local football team is Marbella Fútbol Club. It was founded in 1997 following the collapse of Club Athletico Marbella which was owned by Jesus Gil. The new club was initially called Unión… More →

Betis, full name Real Betis Balompie, followed in 1907, founded by students from the Polytechnic. They were led by another Brit, Henry Jones - known as Papa Jones - who was their first chairman;… More →

Seville was started first - officially in 1905, but the earliest football match took place in the city before then, in 1890, against the newly-founded Huelva club Deportivo, which was started by… More →

Atlético Malagueño was founded in 1948 and it was much later, in 1994 that it became Malaga C.F. (Club de Fútbol). It was originally set up to train players for the first team and for this purpose it… More →

Granada Club de Fútbol, formerly known as Recreativo de Granada, is a Spanish football club based in Granada city. Founded in April 1931, their first president was Julio López Fernández. In the… More →

how does the spanish league system work?

The top league in Spain is the Primera División, more commonly known as 'LaLiga Santander' and the league below this is the Segunda División or 'LaLiga SmartBank', before known as LaLiga 123. These two leagues can be considered the Spanish equivalent of the Premier League and Championship in England.

After this, the 'Segunda División B' is made up of 80 teams, divided into 4 groups which relate to geographical locations. Segunda División B Group 4 encompasses those Andalucian teams that make the league.

Following on from this, there is the Tercera División (third division), made up of 18 groups of 20 teams and finally, the regional divisions.

Primera División (20 teams)
Segunda División (22 teams)
Primera Federación (2 groups of 20 teams)
Segunda Federación (5 groups of 18 teams)
Regional Divisións

promotion & relegation

At the end of the season, the bottom three teams from Premier División are relegated to the Segunda División and automatically replaced by the the top two of this division, however the third team to be promoted must first win a play off. The play off is between the teams in third, fourth, fifth and sixth position in the Segunda División.

The teams (2023/2024 SEASON)

La Liga Santander

Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, officially known as LaLiga EA Sports since 2023 for sponsorship reasons (formerly La Liga Santander), LaLiga is the top men’s professional division of the Spanish football league system.

LaLiga is controlled by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LNFP) and contested by 20 teams over 38 match days each season. According to UEFA’s league coefficient rankings , LaLiga has been the top league in Europe in each of the seven years from 2013 to 2019, and has led Europe for 22 of the 60 ranked years up to 2019. This represents a better performance than any other country in that time.

Those teams in bold represent Andalucian teams. League positions updated January 2024.

La Liga Santander
 
Girona
Real Madrid
FC Barcelona
Atlético de Madrid
Atlético Club
Real Sociedad
Valencia Club Football
La Palmas
Real Betis
Getafe
Osasuna
Aviles
Rayo Valencano
Villareal
Mallorca
Celta de Vigo
Sevilla FC
Cádiz
Granada
Almeria

Segunda Division

Officially known as LaLiga HYPERMOTION for sponsorship reasons (previously LaLiga SmartBank), LaLiga2 is the men’s second professional division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by LNFP, LaLiga2 is contested by 22 teams, with the top two teams plus the winner of a play-off promoted to LaLiga, and replaced by the three lowest-placed teams in that division.

Segunda Division
 
Leganes
Sporting Gijon
Espanyol
Eibar
Racing Ferrol
Levante
Valladolid
Oviedo
Elche
 
Racing
Burgos
Real Zaragosa
Tenerife
Mirandes
Eldense
Albacete
Villa Real B
Alcorcon
Huesca
Andorra
Cartagena
Amorebieta

Primera Federación

The 2022–23 Primera Federación season will be the second for the Primera Federación, the new third highest level in the Spanish football league system. This replace the 'Segundo B'. Forty teams will participate, divided into two groups of twenty clubs each based on geographical proximity. In each group, the champions automatically promoted to Segunda División and the second to fifth placers will play promotion play-offs and the bottom five are relegated to the Segunda Federación. There are two Groups; Group One is essentially western Spain and Group Two is Eastern Spain.

There are five Andalucia teams in Group One 2022–23 Primera Federación season of the Cordoba, La Linea, Algeciras, San Fernando and Linares

Segunda Federación

Segunda Federación, previously called Segunda División RFEF contains 90 teams divided into five geographical groups. The division also includes the reserve teams of a number of La Liga and Segunda División teams.

There are five Andalucia teams in Group Four 2022–23 Segunda Federación season. These are Antequera, Atlético Sanluqueño, Betis Deportivo, Cádiz B, El Ejido, Juventud Torremolinos, Recreativo Granada, Recreativo Huelva, San Roque, Lepe, Sevilla Atlético, Utrera, Vélez, Xerez Deportivo.

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