How Many Games Are There In A La Liga Season

“In a La Liga season, there are a total of 38 games for each team. This consists of 19 home games and 19 away games, making a complete round-robin format where each team faces every other team in the league twice, once at their stadium and once at the opponent’s.”

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History Of La Liga Seasons

La Liga, Spain’s premier football league, traces its origins back to April 1928 when José María Acha, a director at Arenas de Getxo, proposed the idea of a national league.

After debates on its size and participants, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol formed the first Primera División in 1929 with ten teams, including past winners of the Copa del Rey and runners-up.

And, It is only three founding clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Club that have never been relegated. In the 1930s, Athletic Club dominated, winning four titles.

The Spanish Civil War interrupted the league, leading to unique competitions in Republican Spain. In the 1940s, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia appeared as strong contenders.

The 1950s saw Barcelona’s rise with their “L’equip de les Cinc Copes” team winning five trophies in one year. Real Madrid’s dominance also began, fueled by the likes of Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás, winning five titles during the decade.

The team dominance continued into the 1960s and 1970s, winning 14 titles. However, Atlético Madrid provided some competition, winning four championships. The 1980s also oversee Real Madrid’s dominance challenged by Basque clubs like Real Sociedad and Athletic Club.

Then, Barcelona arose under Johan Cruyff’s “Dream Team,” winning four titles in the 1990s. Particularly under Pep Guardiola, Barcelona won numerous titles, including two trebles. Valencia and Atlético Madrid also had brief success.

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Format Of La Liga Season

The La Liga season follows a typical format, known as a double round-robin format. Each of the 20 clubs competes against every other club twice, once at home and once away, resulting in a total of 38 matches per team.

Seasons, which runs from August to May, teams aim to accumulate points through their performances. A victory earns a team three points, a draw earns one point, and no points are awarded for a loss.

At the end of the season, the club with the highest number of points is crowned the champion of La Liga. Promotion and relegation are a major part of the league.

The three lowest-ranked teams in La Liga are relegated to the Segunda División, while the top two teams from the Segunda División are promoted to La Liga.

Additionally, there is a playoff involving the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-placed Segunda División teams, with one additional club earning promotion. However, the number of clubs in La Liga has varied over the years.

It started with 10 clubs in 1929, increased to 12, 14, and 16, and eventually reached 20 in 1987. Since 1997, the league has settled on 20 clubs participating each season. In case of a tie in points between two or more clubs, they implement tiebreaker rules.

These rules prioritize factors such as head-to-head results, goal difference, goals scored, and fair play. Qualification for European competitions is determined by a club’s performance in La Liga and other competitions.

The top four teams secure spots in the UEFA Champions League group stage, with additional places available based on cup competitions and UEFA coefficients.

The UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League also offer opportunities for teams based on their standings in La Liga and domestic cup competitions.

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4 La Liga Tiebreaker Rules You Need To Know

1. Head-to-Head Matches

If all the clubs involved have played against each other twice, the first thing they look at is how they performed against each other. And If it’s just two clubs tied, they compare their goal difference in those matches. But if it involves more than two clubs, we look at:

  • The total points gained from matches against each other.
  • The goal difference in these head-to-head matches.

2. Overall Performance

If two-legged matches haven’t settled the tie, or the tiebreaker rules above don’t decide it, they move on to the overall performance of each team in the competition. This means looking at:

  • The total goal difference throughout the competition.
  • The total number of goals scored by each team.

3. Fair Play

If the tie persists, Fair Play comes into play. Fair Play involves assessing the conduct of players, coaches, club executives, and even supporters. Yellow cards, red cards, and other disciplinary actions are allocated points. The team with fewer points wins this tiebreaker.

4. Tie-Break Match

If all else fails and the tie remains unbroken, a tie-break match is held in a neutral stadium. This match is the final decider, providing that one team emerges as the winner.

How The Total Number Of Matches In A La Liga Season Is Calculated?

To determine the total number of matches In a La Liga season, we consider the format of the league. Each team in La Liga plays against every other team twice during the season, once at their stadium (home) and once at the opponent’s stadium (away).

For each team, there are 19 other teams to play against both at home and away. So, we multiply the number of opponents (19) by 2, resulting in 19 × 2 = 3819 × 2 = 38 matches per team for the entire season.

Therefore, when we multiply the 38 matches by the total number of teams in the league (20), we get the total number of matches in a La Liga season:

  • Total Matches = 38 matches / team × 20 teams
  • Total Matches = 38 × 20 = 760 matches  

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Comparison Of The Number Of Matches In A La Liga Season With Other Major Football Leagues 

LeagueNumber of TeamsTotal Matches per TeamAverage Matches per Team per WeekTotal Matchdays
La Liga (Spain)2038Approximately 1.938
Premier League (England)2038Approximately 1.938
Serie A (Italy)2038Approximately 1.938
Bundesliga (Germany)1834Approximately 1.734
Ligue 1 (France)1834Approximately 1.734

Broadcasting And Viewership Of La Liga Season

La Liga’s broadcasting rights are sold to various television networks and streaming platforms, both domestically and internationally. Domestically, matches are aired on channels like Movistar+ and beIN Sports in Spain.

Telefonica has struck a deal to continue showing five La Liga games per week via its platform, Movistar+. Besides, the pay-TV network will exclusively air three match weeks in both the 2025/26 and 2026/27 campaigns.

Movistar+ has also secured the privilege of the first pick of games in 18 match weeks per season and the second pick in 17 weeks. This agreement underscores Telefonica’s commitment to La Liga, as clear by its substantial financial commitment.

The telecoms giant will pay €250 million (approximately US$272 million) for the second half of the 2024/25 season and then increase its investment to €520 million (approximately US$566 million) for each of the next two campaigns in full.

According to recent data, La Liga matches attract millions of viewers worldwide. In the 2022-2023 season, the average viewership for La Liga matches reached over 2 million viewers per game domestically in Spain alone.

Internationally, the league’s matches are broadcast in over 180 countries, reaching an estimated global audience of over 2.7 billion viewers throughout the season.

Also, the emergence of digital platforms and streaming services has expanded the reach of La Liga beyond traditional television broadcasting.

Many fans now have the option to stream matches live on their computers, smartphones, or smart TVs, providing greater flexibility in how they consume content.

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