Spanish football league system

The football league system in Spain consists of several leagues bound together hierarchically by promotion and relegation. The Spanish football federation allows reserve teams to compete in the main league system, as is the case in most of Europe; however reserve teams are not allowed to compete in the same tier as their senior team, and no reserve team has thus competed in the top flight, Primera División.

Men

La Liga

La Liga is the highest level in the Spanish football league system and is operated by the LFP.

Other professional divisions

Segunda División, also called La Liga 2 is the second highest level in the Spanish football league system and is also operated by the LFP.

The Segunda Division B is the third highest level in the Spanish football league system and is operated by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

The Tercera Division is the fourth highest level in the Spanish football league system and is operated by the Royal Spanish Football Federation and 17 regional federations.

Lower divisions

Starting at Level 5, each of the 19 regional federations of RFEF run their regional league pyramid under their own jurisdiction.

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

Professional Leagues

1

La Liga
(LaLiga Santander)
20 teams

↓↑ 3 teams

2

Segunda División
(LaLiga SmartBank)
22 teams

↓↑ 4 teams

3

Segunda División B
4 groups, 20 teams each

↓↑ 18 teams
Non-Professional Leagues

4

Tercera División
18 groups, 20 teams each

5

1st Regional Division
37 groups, 620 teams in total

6

2nd Regional Division

7

3rd Regional Division

8

4th Regional Division

9

5th Regional Division

Evolution of the Spanish league system

Tier\Years19291929–341934–361936–391939–401940–431943–771977–current
1Primera DivisiónCivil WarPrimera División**
2Segunda División Group ASegunda DivisiónSegunda División
3Segunda División Group B3ª DivisiónNone*None*(playoff)
known as 3ª División
3ª DivisiónSegunda División B
4None*None*LowerLowerTercera División
5Lower
6
7
8
9

* From 1929 to 1940 the Spanish pyramid was similar to the Brazilian system, two simultaneous and independent pyramids, the national pyramid, and the regional pyramid.

**The Primera and Segunda was founded by the Royal Spanish Football Association, but since 1984 is now operated by the LFP. Since 2008 the Primera División is commonly known as Liga Santander and the Segunda División is commonly known as Liga Adelante for sponsorship reasons.

Women

Level

League

1

Primera División
(Liga Iberdrola)
16 teams

↓↑ 2 teams

2

Segunda División
2 groups, 16 teams each

↓↑ 6 teams

3

Primera Nacional
7 groups, 14 teams each

4

Regional leagues

Youth

Level

League

1

División de Honor
(7 groups)

2

Liga Nacional Juvenil
(21 groups)

3

Divisiones regionales

References


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