TPP Blog: European Football 101 – The ‘Premier’ Leagues

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has just ended and a new group of Pinoy Football fans have emerged.  Since these fans have already been baptized to National Team or what is commonly known as International Football, it is only proper for them to get some basic education on the highest level of club football.

liga1liga2The Leagues

Every country has their own “Premier” league where the best football clubs battle it out to be the country’s number one team.  The top tier league usually consists of 20 teams in their respective countries. Here’s a list of European countries with the most popular leagues.

England – English Premier League (commercially known as Barclays Premier League)
Spain – La Liga (commercially known as La Liga BBVA)
Germany – Bundesliga
Italy – Seria A
Netherlands – Eredivisie
France – Ligue 1

Membership to the top league (or division) is determined by a relegation system where the worst performing teams from the first are dropped to the second division while the best teams from the second division are promoted to the first division.

top1

top2Most of the biggest clubs in the world have maintained their membership on their first divisions and most of them attract the best players in the world. Below is a list of the countries best and most popular clubs:

English Premier League – Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal
La Liga – FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid
Bundesliga – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund
Seria A – Juventus, AC Milan, Internazionale Milan, AS Roma
Eredivisie – Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven
Ligue 1 – PSV, Olympic Marseille, Lyon

 

The League Competition

2013-2014 Premier League Table (final) screengrab from http://www.premierleague.com

Twenty teams play home and away matches, thirty-eight in total, against each other throughout the year.  Each win merits three points to the winning side while there is zero given to the losing team. A draw (or a tie), yields one point for both teams.  The team with the most points at the end of the season are declared League Champions and have the bragging rights as the Best Team in their division, for this case the best in their country.

This league format has been the standard for all football leagues in the world.  The format rewards consistently performing teams unlike Cup formats where anyone has a fair chance of making it to the final game.  As an additional incentive, the top placing teams in the league also qualify for European competitions for the next season where they have a chance to play with other top European Clubs. These European Competitions will be given more detail in the next article.

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