The Primeira Liga or the Liga NOS is Portugal’s most elite football division. It was founded in 1934 and it is home to some of Europe’s most well-known football clubs. It is also considered one of Europe’s most competitive leagues, alongside the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, and Ligue 1, and recently ranked in 4th place in the UEFA country rankings, although it has now slipped down to sixth.

It is watched by thousands upon thousands of football fans, both in attendance in the stadiums and all over the world, helped by the Portuguese diaspora spread all over the globe, and it is a league known for producing a lot of quality games and some of the world’s best players. 

Portugal’s top division is also one of the most-betted divisions in Europe. Numerous betting fans use online bookies to bet on the games and try to anticipate the next winner, goalscorer, yellow or red card receiver, and much more. There are countless betting options, and the betting sites like Helpbet are there to give the best odds to the people and offer them a chance to win a nice financial reward.

If you are more of a curious facts reader, this article will give you some interesting facts about the league. Some of them are well-known, some of them are nice to learn and share if you end up having a conversation on this topic.

General Facts About the League

As mentioned earlier, the Primeira Liga was established in 1934. In the beginning, there were only 8 clubs in the league. In 1940, a decision was made to expand it from 8 to 10 clubs, and during that same season, a second expansion was made, from 10 to 12 clubs. At first, the official name of the league was Campeonato Nacional da Primeira Divisão. But, after the Portuguese League for Professional Football took over, the name was changed to the one that remains today. “Primeira Liga” translates in English into “First League”. As of today, 18 teams are competing for the trophy.

Stadiums

There are 18 stadiums in the league, the same number as teams; in other words there is no stadium sharing as happens in some other countries. Benfica’s stadium has the highest capacity, the Estádio da Luz, with a official capacity of 64,642. The average capacity in all of the stadiums is 20,141. The team with the lowest stadium capacity in the league at present is Tondela. The club’s stadium has a 5,000 capacity. Sporting, Porto and Benfica have the biggest stadiums and the highest attendances, with crowds generally filling the stadiums at around 85% capacity.

In the 2018/2019 season, a total of 3,655,213 fans watched the games on the clubs’ stadiums. The average annual total attendance per team was 200,067.

Historical clubs

As mentioned before, there are currently 18 clubs in the League. The “Big Three” of Benfica, Porto, and Sporting have dominated the league since its establishment. Benfica has won the league 37 times, Porto 28, and Sporting 18. Boavista and Belenenses have won it once each. Boavista were champions in 2001, and Belenenses were champions in 1946.

Braga, Vitória de Setúbal, and Académica have been runner-ups for the title once. Boavista and Belenenses have been runner-ups three times, Sporting 21, Porto 27, and Benfica 28 times.

Top players

Many legendary players have played in Primeira Liga. Eusébio, Luís Figo, Deco, Hulk, Di Maria, and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo are just a few. The most recent big name produced by the league is up-and-coming superstar João Félix. He played for Benfica and joined Atletico Madrid in the 2019 summer transfer window for a record fee earned by a Portuguese club of 126 million euros. 

 

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Someone needs to write the history of Portuguese Football. I have "A Journey Through Portuguese Football" and I enjoyed it, but I wish there was something out there a kin to John Foot's Calcio: A History of Italian Football. Maybe there is and I...

Someone needs to write the history of Portuguese Football. I have "A Journey Through Portuguese Football" and I enjoyed it, but I wish there was something out there a kin to John Foot's Calcio: A History of Italian Football. Maybe there is and I have missed it?

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One of my favorite leagues. I enjoy watching the highlights and the distinct footballing atmosphere that is different from La Liga. Visiting the Estadio do Dragão and its museum gave even more distinctive historical flavor of Portuguese football...

One of my favorite leagues. I enjoy watching the highlights and the distinct footballing atmosphere that is different from La Liga. Visiting the Estadio do Dragão and its museum gave even more distinctive historical flavor of Portuguese football in relation to the world. Even if some highlights with lesser known teams show vast swathes of empty seats, the highlights show that these squads play good tactical football. Case in point, Desportivo das Aves. I also enjoy S.C. Braga.

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