The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División,[a] commonly known as La Liga[b] (LaLiga Santander for sponsorship reasons with Santander), is the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (English: National Professional Football League), also known as the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, and is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top two teams and a play-off winner in that division.
A total of 62 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 33 times and FC Barcelona 26 times. Barcelona won the inaugural La Liga in 1929 with Athletic Bilbao claiming several titles in the league’s early years. During the 1940s, Valencia, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona emerged as the strongest clubs winning several titles. Real Madrid and Barcelona dominated the championship in the 1950s, winning four La Liga titles each throughout the decade. During the 1960s–1970s Real Madrid dominated La Liga winning 14 titles, with Atlético Madrid winning four. From the 1980s–1990s, Real Madrid were prominent in La Liga, but the Basque clubs of Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad had their share of success, winning two Liga titles each. From the 1990s onward, Barcelona have dominated La Liga winning 16 titles up to date. Although Real Madrid have been prominent, winning 8 titles, La Liga has also seen other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña.