How many games in La Liga?

The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera Division is mainly popular as La Liga for sponsorship reasons with Santander. It is the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. The First Division of La Liga 2020-21 is the 90th edition of the Spanish First Division of football. The Professional Football League organizes the tournament. If you want to know how many games in La Liga, you are here at the right place.

How many games in La Liga
La Liga

How many games in La Liga?

Do you want to know how many games in La Liga? Read more below.

The competition format follows the usual double round-robin format. During a season, that lasts from August to May, each club plays every other club two times, once away and once at home for 38 matchdays. Teams receive 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and no points for a loss.

Competition System in La Liga

As in previous seasons, it consists of a single group made up of 20 clubs throughout the Spanish geography. Following a league system, the 20 teams will all face each other twice. This will happen once in their field and once in the opposite field, totaling 38 days. The order of the matches is decided by a lottery before the beginning of the competition.

Matches are played every weekend throughout the season, except when there is a break for international games. Furthermore, the games in La Liga take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings, with some morning kick-offs (kick-off times vary). In the 2009-10 season, they also introduced a Monday night match. There are also midweek fixtures at intermittent periods throughout the season, with these matches played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

They often reschedule matches with less that two weeks’ notice due to TV requirements.

The team with the most points at the end of the season is the champion. Moreover, they establish the final classification by taking into account the points obtained in each confrontation.

La Liga Logo

The Points System

Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. A team cannot accrue more points by scoring more goals in a match, although this will help their head-to-head record against other teams as well as their goal difference.

La Liga differs from some other leagues in that teams’ head-to-head records are used to separate them if they are equal on points. Whichever team has the best goal difference in the two matches will be placed highest if the points are equal. If head-to-head goal difference is the same, goal difference over the entire season is used then goals scored.

When more than two teams are sharing the same number of points, the points accumulated in the matches between the teams are used to rank them then goal difference if required. If this is not sufficient, goal difference over the entire season is used then goals scored. Further tie-breakers are seldom required beyond that.

Classification for International

UEFA gives the Spanish League 7 qualifying places for the continental competitions of the 2020-21 season and their distribution is as follows: 

  • The first, second, third and fourth classified of the league will agree to play the Champions League from the Group Stage.
  • The Cup champion and the fifth class will agree to play the Europa League from the Group Phase.
  • The sixth class will agree to play the Europa League from the Second Preliminary Round.

However, other competitions may alter the UEFA places that teams will access at the end of the season:

If the Cup champion qualifies for the Champions League through the League, its place falls on the fifth place in the league. In the same way, the fifth place on the sixth, and the sixth on the seventh. 

In case the Cup champion qualifies for the European League through the League, it keeps the place that allows them to access a higher round, in this case, the Cup. Therefore, the UEFA place obtained through the league goes to the next classified in the league and not to the runner-up Cup.

Position of Teams of La-Liga

When a team wins a continental competition, specifically the Champions League or the European League, they will get a place. This team is given a place to play the next edition of the Champions League from the Group Phase. 

If the said team had already obtained that same place through the League, the place reserved for the champion is not granted. 

On the other hand, if said team obtained a place for the Champions League through the League, but this forces them to start from an earlier round, then they do receive the place reserved for the champion. 

In any case, the remaining place never goes to the next classified in the league but goes to another national federation.

If a team that wins a continental competition qualifies for the European League through the League, it obtains the place reserved for the champion. Its place for the European League disappears and does not fall on the next classified in the league. This is the only way that 5 teams can qualify for the Champions League.

La Liga teams

Ascents and Descents

The bottom three clubs in the Primera Division are relegated to the Segunda Division – the division below. The three top ranked teams replace these teams at the end of the Segunda Division’s 42-game season.

It is unusual to relegate teams with 40 points, and as in other leagues containing 20 teams, this is the target for clubs aiming to avoid the drop. 


Top goalscorers

The league’s all-time leading goalscorer is Lionel Messi who has made 467 goals in Barcelona. Messi is also the only player to score 50 times during one season (note that the numbers of games per season has shifted over times; as a comparison Telmo Zarra scored 38 times in the 1950-51 season when each team only played 30 games).

On the second place among goalscorers is Cristiano Ronaldo who did 311 goals in Real Madrid on 292 appearances (a goal ratio record in the league).

Other notable goalscorers in the league are Hugo Sánches (234 goals for Real Madrid 1981-1994), Raúl (228 goals for Real Madrid 1994-2010), and Alfredo Di Stéfano (227 goals for Real Madrid 1953-1966).

Players with most appearances

The player with most appearances is the former national team goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta. He played most of his matches in FC Barcelona and in total he did 622 La Liga appearances. Next to him is the Real Madrid player Raúl with 550 matches.

Live Betting

Live bets are the bets you make while the sporting event takes place. Minute by minute you can go betting on one result or another. Imagine live betting odds in your favorite La Liga, where everything can change in a matter of seconds. During the matches, the odds may vary greatly depending on how the match takes place.

Most of the bookmakers already have a live betting service. Therefore, don’t hesitate to try it because these real-time bets are a pure excitement.


La Liga is undoubtedly among Europe’s Top 5 and probably in the top 3 leagues. Moreover, the world’s top players are located in this league, making it even more popular. However, there’s no audience at the matches at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fans can’t wait for it to be over and watch their favorite teams as in the good old days.