Primeira Liga

Primeira Liga is the highest professional football division in Portugal. And should not get confused with the same-named regional cup football competition in Brazil. All these two competitions are sharing is the language. So keep that in mind as we unfold Portugal’s Primeira Liga, or as it’s more commonly known name, Liga NOS. Where it adopts its title from a sponsorship agreement. Which organises and oversees by the Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional (LPFP) or Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) in its English translation. That according to UEFA’s ranking, is the 6th best League in ordinance with the country coefficients point system. The League as such is unmistakable with its kinda unique playstyle where the focus lays mainly on counter-attacks and deep field play. In any case, let’s see what the history look like and how a regular-season play. Plus, some fantastic moments and much more.

Quick history

The Primeira Liga is close to raising a glass to its 90 birthday, more precise its foundation set in 1934 with the wordy title, Campeonato da Liga da Primeira Divisão. However, it was not an official competition until 1938 when the name yet changed once more to Campeonato Nacional da Primeira Divisão. By which persisted to 1999 when an agreement came to an end, and we see the modern name, the Primeira Liga. And since its birth, there have only been 4 different teams holding the position as the League champion. With the odd man out being, Boavista that manage to lay claim to the trophy in 2000/01 season. But it is generally known, that the League controls by three powerhouse clubs, S.L. Benfica, FC Porto, and Sporting CP. Also referred to as the “The Big Three” or “Os Três Grandes.”

Primeira Liga Table

How many teams include in the Primeira Liga?

The number of teams has changed 14 times due to reasons including name changes, official status, game interruption, disputes between clubs, and their administrative and decision power to mention a few. Starting from 1934/35 to 1938/39 with 8 clubs playing. That change to 10 in 1939/40. Only to revert to 8 the year 1940/41. To play one season with 12 teams in 1941/42. Which dropped to 10 between 1942/43 to 1944/45. Returning back to 12 in 1945/46. That boosted to 14 in 1946/47 to 1970/71. With another injection of clubs from 1971/72 to 1986/87 to 16. Reaching its highest recorded number of 20 clubs at 1987/88 and 1988/89. And down to 18 in 1989/90, but back up again to 20 for one more season, 1990/91 and down again to 18 in 1991/92 to 2005/06. Followed by 16 from 2006/07 to 2013/14, finally landing on 18 from 2014/15 to date.

A season of Primeira Liga

The Primeira Liga and a normal season fall in line with the more used double round-robin format. Meaning that all 18 clubs play all teams 2 times. Telling us that each team play a grand total of 34 games in one complete season. Where the team 1 plays one game at the team 2’s home arena only to face-off once more but at team 1’s home stadium. That traditionally kicks off in the early days of Agust. Reaching its finalisation in the following year in the middle of May. When a season comes to an end, the team with most points take home the Primeira Liga win. While the bottom two teams automatically relegate to the second-tier division. With the knock-on effect of the top two teams from Segunda Liga climb up to the top division.

Who owns the League?

Although the League is officially organised by the Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional (LPFP), there is more than one side to a coin. And since early 2000 the Primeira Liga has seen some huge sponsor names. Which included some prominent names in the Bookmaking industry. But also one of Portugals biggest beverage manufacturer, to mention a few. However, since 2014 there has only been one main sponsor, as such the name Liga NOS has become imprinted and associated with the Primeira Liga.primeira liga

Primeira Liga competition champions

As already revealed, the Primeira Liga is between “The Big Three.” However, to keep it relevant to the current time and official name the record will only indicate wins starting from the 1999/00 season. And coming in on first place is FC Porto with 10 wins (2002/03, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2017/18). In pursuit, we find S.L. Benfica with its 7 contributions (2004/05, 2009/10, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2018/19). With the third and final place holder Sporting CP and its 2 wins (1999/2000, 2001/02).

Extraordinary moments in Primeira Liga

The fact but from two exceptions, Belenenses 1945/46 and Boavista 2000/01 wins the League as only seen 3 winners and titleholders, Benfica (37), Porto (28), and Sporting CP (18). But what’s equally impressive is that none of “The Big Three” clubs as faced relegation to a lower division. As such, there are not really any other moments that can compare to the herculean feat this 3 teams accomplished.

Top goal scorers and record keepers in Primeira Liga

In reversed order, the first step up to the podium is Brazilian born Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira and his 110 goals. Holding on by the skin of his teeth and second-place position is Paraguayan Óscar Cardozo with 111 recorded goals. Drum roll, please, the man in the spotlight and first place goes to the Portuguese native Liedson da Silva Muniz. Where he successfully contributed 220 times. But worth to keep in mind, the record only reflects the last 23 seasons. As a result, should we include all players and from the beginning of the Leagues we see a different name dominating the scene, namely Fernando Peyroteo. That produced 332 goals in his career between 1937 to 1949 in the top division(s).

Live viewership and the home audience

The top three clubs S.L. Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP, distribute in-between themselves around 28,000 tickets sold on average. However, it’s not only due to its immense popularity, but it also comes down to stadium size. With record show that they have a place for over 50,000 seated viewers. While the bottom clubs come no way near that. As a result, the low attendance of around 4,000 to 5,000 reflects too that to a certain point. However, the option to tune in remotely is fairly good, and the options to follow all matches in the Primeira Liga is easily accessible to any that wish to follow the top Portuguese League from home.

Can you place bets on Primeira Liga?

As the top League for Portugal, you will find a good and well-picked selection of markets and odds to place bets on. Plus, there will most certainly be some direct action to part take in, including the live score, live betting and other statistics besides the pre-match bet types. As such, you can monitor your favourite team’s performance in Portugal from the comfort of your home or even on the go with dedicated sports apps from the top tier bookmakers in the UK.