The beginner’s guide to the La Liga

The La Liga, Spanish soccer’s top league, is the home of vibrant and colorful soccer. It is also the home of the two best soccer players of their generation: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Since its founding in 1929 Spanish teams battle it out for the championship with the flair that only Spanish soccer can bring to the sport.

For better or for worse, the league is known for the rivalry between its two top clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Except a year in between, these two sides have taken every La Liga title in recent memory. Combined the two clubs have taken the La Liga title 56 times.

The finest players the division has ever seen have donned the iconic white of Real and the striking red and blue of Barca. Alfredo di Stefano inspired Madrid to eight championships during his heyday between 1954 and 1964, wonderfully supported by Hungarian star Ferenc Puskas.

The league does one thing differently to other leagues. While other leagues use goal difference to compare two teams during a tie, La Liga looks at the head-to-head record during the season. It makes for more aggressive soccer as teams worry about rivals getting the better of them if there is a tie for positions on the table.

There are two other club competitions. One is the Kings Cup, and the other is Spanish Super Cup where the winner of the La Liga and the King’s Cup face off.

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