Spanish Football League Structure

The governing board of football in Spain is the Royal Spanish Football Federation ( Real Federación Española de Fútbol)  RFEF.   Boasting clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, Spanish football is the home of some of the best players in the world.

 Spanish Football

Like so many other countries, Spain has numerous football leagues consisting of relegations and promotions.   There are ten tiers of football in Spain.  The first three are made up of professional leagues. 

The top flight of Spanish Football is La Liga. It has 20 teams in which three can get relegated.

The top 4 teams get considered eligible for the UEFA Champions League. Furthermore, the 5th and 6th placed teams qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

Segunda Division comes after the Spanish League. It comprises 22 teams, out of which three get promoted to La Liga, and four get relegated.

Until this last year, Segunda Division B  comes after Segunda Division and was the third tier of the Spanish game. Primera RFEF decided to change the structure of this league in the 2020/21 season.  Now, after the Segunda Division, you have the Primera Division RFEF which is composed of 2 groups, made up of 18-20 teams each.  Below this is the Segunda Division RFEF, made up of 5 groups with 18-20 teams each.  The Segunda Division RFEF is considered a Semi-professional league.

Semi-Pro/Amateur Leagues

Tiers 4 is the Tercera Division RFEF, made up of 18 groups with 18 teams each.

Tiers 5-10 are made up of the 1st through 5th regional division respectively.

One of Spain's most important qualities is that it can provide a roadmap for unlucky players who do not make it big professionally. That roadmap comes in the face of the semi-pro/amateur football leagues.

The semi-pro Spanish leagues always allow the football players who have found it challenging to come through the professional football academies.

The youth players get integrated into high-quality academies to ensure that they get football education and skills.

Two technicalities make you evolve in these leagues. One is either to stay and improve as a player. The second is to leave your comfort zone and go elsewhere to discover your potential.

National vs. Foreign Players

The Spanish players find it very comfortable in Spain. Many clubs even have an unspoken rule of only having clubs from their own locale. (for example Bilbao and Sociedad at one time.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid get considered the epitome of National Players. Both of their influences were so much that at one point, the Spanish international team only comprised Real Madrid and FC Barcelona players.  In the 2010 World Cup final that Spain won, ten of the eleven Spanish players belonged to either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona.  

There are also some foreign players who have made impacts on Spanish teams.  In 2013, Gareth Bale became one of the very few players to adapt his life at Real Madrid, becoming part of one of the most excellent football sides. According to the Welshman, he had to take classes to learn Spanish in his first season.

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