2018–19 La Liga

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La Liga
Season2018–19
Dates17 August 2018 – 19 May 2019
Matches played190
Goals scored481 (2.53 per match)
Top goalscorerLionel Messi
(17 goals)
Biggest home winBarcelona 8–2 Huesca
(2 September 2018)
Biggest away winLevante 0–5 Barcelona
(16 December 2018)
Highest scoringBarcelona 8–2 Huesca
(2 September 2018)
Longest winning run6 matches[1]
Barcelona
Longest unbeaten run16 matches[1]
Atlético Madrid
Longest winless run16 matches[1]
Huesca
Longest losing run6 matches[1]
Espanyol
Highest attendance93,265
Barcelona 5–1 Real Madrid
(28 October 2018)
[1]
Lowest attendance4,141
Eibar 0–0 Villarreal
(6 January 2019)
[1]
Total attendance4,658,663[1]
Average attendance27,566[1]
2019–20
All statistics correct as of 6 January 2019.

The 2018–19 La Liga season, also known as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons,[2] is the 88th since its establishment. The season began on 17 August 2018 and is scheduled to finish on 26 May 2019.[3] Fixtures for the 2018–19 season were announced on 24 July 2018.[4] This is the first La Liga season using VAR.[5]

Barcelona are the defending champions. Huesca, Rayo Vallecano and Valladolid join as the promoted clubs from the 2017–18 Segunda División. They replaced Málaga, Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruña who were relegated to the 2018–19 Segunda División.

Summary[edit]

Several clubs made managerial changes before the start of the season. Among them were Real Madrid, when Zinedine Zidane resigned following the club's third consecutive UEFA Champions League victory. He was replaced by Julen Lopetegui, who was managing the Spanish national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at the time of announcement and was dismissed from that job as a result.[6] Other incomers included Pablo Machín at Sevilla, who was hired after his success with newly promoted Girona the previous season.[7]

In the transfer window, the biggest deal saw Real Madrid lose Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus for a fee of €112 million; the Portuguese forward had scored 450 goals in 438 games during his nine years in the Spanish capital.[8] Real Madrid's additions included Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for €35 million from Chelsea, and striker Mariano returned to the club from Lyon for €22 million.[9][10] Defending champions Barcelona added Clément Lenglet to their defence, Arturo Vidal to midfield, and spent over €40 million on Brazilian forward Malcom.[11] Players exiting Barcelona included Andrés Iniesta at the end of a successful 16-year-spell, as he signed for Vissel Kobe in Japan.[12]

Veterans Gabi and Fernando Torres also left Atlético Madrid for new teams in Asia,[13] while the same club welcomed in the likes of World Cup-winning French midfielder Thomas Lemar and Portugal's Gelson Martins.[14] After a successful previous season, in which the team finished fourth and returned to the Champions League, Valencia made permanent the loan signing of Portuguese winger Gonçalo Guedes from Paris Saint-Germain. Forward Simone Zaza and midfielder João Cancelo both left to Italy, while Kevin Gameiro and Geoffrey Kondogbia arrived as replacements.[15] Athletic Bilbao sold Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea for €80 million, a world record fee for a goalkeeper.[16]

The tenth round of matches featured the first El Clásico of the season, which Barcelona won 5–1 at home against Real Madrid with a hat-trick by Luis Suárez. The result put Madrid into 9th place,[17] and led to the dismissal of Lopetegui after only five months.[18] Other early pace-setters included Sevilla with their prolific strike partnership of André Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder,[19] Alavés who were briefly league leaders in mid-October,[20] Espanyol, and Valladolid who had been taken over by former Brazil international Ronaldo.[21]

Teams[edit]

Promotion and relegation (pre-season)[edit]

A total of 20 teams will contest the league, including 17 sides from the 2017–18 season and three promoted from the 2017–18 Segunda División. This will include the two top teams from the Segunda División, and the winners of the play-offs.

Teams relegated to Segunda Division

The first team to be relegated from La Liga were Málaga. Their relegation was ensured on 19 April 2018, following a late 1−0 defeat to Levante, ending their 10-year spell in the top division.[22]

The second team to be relegated were Las Palmas, after a 4−0 home defeat to Deportivo Alavés on 22 April 2018, ending their three-year spell in the league.[23]

The last team to be relegated were Deportivo La Coruña, following a 4−2 home loss to Barcelona on 29 April 2018. This result ensured Deportivo's third relegation in seven years, and also handed Barcelona their 25th La Liga title.[24]

Teams promoted from Segunda Division

On 21 May 2018, Huesca were promoted to La Liga for the first time ever by winning 2–0 at Lugo.

Rayo Vallecano was the second team to earn promotion to La Liga on 27 May 2018 by winning against Lugo as well, this time 1–0. Rayo returns after a two-year absence.

Real Valladolid was the last team to be promoted after beating Sporting Gijón and Numancia in the play-offs. Valladolid returned to top division after 4 years.

This was the first season since the 2014–15 season without any teams from the archipelagos of Spain (teams located on the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands) since Las Palmas was relegated and Tenerife failed to qualify for the promotion play-offs.

Stadia and locations[edit]

Location of Community of Madrid teams in 2018–19 La Liga

Celta signed a sponsorship contract with Abanca to rename their stadium as Abanca-Balaídos.[25]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Alavés Vitoria-Gasteiz Mendizorrotza 19,840[26]
Athletic Bilbao Bilbao San Mamés 53,000[27]
Atlético Madrid Madrid Wanda Metropolitano 68,000[28]
Barcelona Barcelona Camp Nou 99,354[29]
Celta Vigo Vigo Abanca-Balaídos 29,000[30]
Eibar Eibar Ipurua 7,083[31]
Espanyol Barcelona RCDE Stadium 40,000[32]
Getafe Getafe Coliseum Alfonso Pérez 17,000[33]
Girona Girona Montilivi 13,500[34]
Huesca Huesca El Alcoraz 7,638[35]
Leganés Leganés Butarque 12,450[36]
Levante Valencia Ciutat de València 26,354[37]
Rayo Vallecano Madrid Vallecas 14,708[38]
Real Betis Seville Benito Villamarín 60,721[39]
Real Madrid Madrid Santiago Bernabéu 81,044[40]
Real Sociedad San Sebastián Anoeta 32,000[41]
Sevilla Seville Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán 42,714[42]
Valencia Valencia Mestalla 49,500[43]
Valladolid Valladolid José Zorrilla 26,512[44]
Villarreal Villarreal Estadio de la Cerámica 23,500[45]

Matches outside Spain[edit]

On 16 August 2018, La Liga signed a 15-year agreement with Relevent Sports (owners of the International Champions Cup) to schedule one match per season within the United States. This would mark the first time ever that an official La Liga league match would be held there.[46][47] The match between Girona and Barcelona, to be played on 27 January 2019, was selected to be played in Miami, but it required the approval of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.[48] On 21 September 2018, the Spanish Football Federation denied approval of the match being held in Miami.[49] On 26 October 2018, following a request for guidance from the Spanish Football Federation, US Soccer and CONCACAF, the FIFA Council discussed La Liga’s proposal. At the end of the meeting, the FIFA Council stated that "Consistent with the opinion expressed by the Football Stakeholders Committee, the Council emphasised the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association".[50] On 13 December 2018, Barcelona left their disposition to play the match in Miami without effect.[51]

Personnel and sponsorship[edit]

Team Manager[52] Captain[53] Kit manufacturer[54] Shirt sponsor[54]
Alavés Spain Abelardo Fernández Spain Manu García Kelme Betway, LEA,1 Araba-Álava,2 Integra Energía,3 Euskaltel3
Athletic Bilbao Spain Gaizka Garitano Spain Markel Susaeta New Balance Kutxabank
Atlético Madrid Argentina Diego Simeone Uruguay Diego Godín Nike Plus500, Hyundai2
Barcelona Spain Ernesto Valverde Argentina Lionel Messi Nike Rakuten, UNICEF,1 Beko2
Celta Vigo Portugal Miguel Cardoso Spain Hugo Mallo Adidas Estrella Galicia 0,0, Abanca,1 Grupo Recalvi3
Eibar Spain José Luis Mendilibar Spain Asier Riesgo Puma AVIA, HiKOKI2
Espanyol Spain Rubi Spain Javi López Kelme Riviera Maya, InnJoo1
Getafe Spain José Bordalás Spain Jorge Molina Joma Tecnocasa Group, Granitos Buenavista1
Girona Spain Eusebio Sacristán Spain Álex Granell Umbro Marathonbet, Costa Brava2
Huesca Spain Francisco Spain Juanjo Camacho Kelme Huesca La Magia, DISA,1 Bodega Sommos,1 Grupo Cosehisa,2 El Dorado,3 Ambar3
Leganés Argentina Mauricio Pellegrino Argentina Alexander Szymanowski Joma Betway, Sambil Outlet Madrid,2 BeSoccer3
Levante Spain Paco López Spain Pedro López Macron Betway, Baleària1
Rayo Vallecano Spain Míchel Spain Alberto García Kelme Creditea1
Real Betis Spain Quique Setién Spain Joaquín Kappa Oct Desks, Reale Seguros,2 BeSoccer3
Real Madrid Argentina Santiago Solari Spain Sergio Ramos Adidas Emirates
Real Sociedad Spain Imanol Alguacil Spain Asier Illarramendi Macron Kutxabank,1 Reale Seguros2
Sevilla Spain Pablo Machín Spain Jesús Navas Nike Playtika, Betfair2
Valencia Spain Marcelino Spain Daniel Parejo Adidas BLU, beIN Sports,1 Sesderma,2 Alfa Romeo3
Valladolid Spain Sergio González Spain Javi Moyano Hummel Cuatro Rayas, Valladolid Ciudad Amiga3
Villarreal Spain Luis García Spain Bruno Joma Pamesa Cerámica, Endavant2
1. ^ On the back of shirt.
2. ^ On the sleeves.
3. ^ On the shorts.

Managerial changes[edit]

Team Outgoing manager Manner of
departure
Date of vacancy Position in table Incoming manager Date of
appointment
Celta Vigo Spain Juan Carlos Unzué Sacked 21 May 2018[55] Pre-season Argentina Antonio Mohamed 22 May 2018[56]
Girona Spain Pablo Machín Signed for Sevilla 28 May 2018[57] Spain Eusebio Sacristán 7 June 2018[58]
Real Madrid France Zinedine Zidane Resigned 31 May 2018[59] Spain Julen Lopetegui 12 June 2018[60]
Real Sociedad Spain Imanol Alguacil End of contract 30 June 2018[61] Spain Asier Garitano 24 May 2018[62]
Huesca Spain Rubi 30 June 2018[63] Argentina Leo Franco 28 May 2018[64]
Sevilla Spain Joaquín Caparrós End of caretaker spell 30 June 2018[65] Spain Pablo Machín 28 May 2018[66]
Espanyol Spain David Gallego 30 June 2018[67] Spain Rubi 3 June 2018[68]
Leganés Spain Asier Garitano Signed for Real Sociedad 30 June 2018[69] Argentina Mauricio Pellegrino 2 June 2018[70]
Athletic Bilbao Spain José Ángel Ziganda Mutual consent 30 June 2018[71] Argentina Eduardo Berizzo 31 May 2018[72]
Huesca Argentina Leo Franco Sacked 9 October 2018 20th Spain Francisco 10 October 2018[73]
Real Madrid Spain Julen Lopetegui 29 October 2018 9th Argentina Santiago Solari 30 October 2018
Celta Vigo Argentina Antonio Mohamed 12 November 2018 14th Portugal Miguel Cardoso 12 November 2018
Athletic Bilbao Argentina Eduardo Berizzo 4 December 2018 18th Spain Gaizka Garitano 4 December 2018
Villarreal Spain Javier Calleja 10 December 2018 17th Spain Luis García 10 December 2018
Real Sociedad Spain Asier Garitano 26 December 2018[74] 15th Spain Imanol Alguacil 26 December 2018[75]

League table[edit]

Standings[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Barcelona 19 13 4 2 53 20 +33 43 Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Atlético Madrid 19 10 8 1 27 13 +14 38
3 Sevilla 19 9 6 4 31 20 +11 33
4 Real Madrid 19 10 3 6 28 24 +4 33
5 Alavés 19 9 5 5 22 18 +4 32 Qualification for the Europa League group stage
6 Getafe 19 7 7 5 21 16 +5 28 Qualification for the Europa League second qualifying round
7 Real Betis 19 7 5 7 22 23 −1 26
8 Real Sociedad 19 7 4 8 23 22 +1 25
9 Girona 19 5 9 5 21 23 −2 24
10 Espanyol 19 7 3 9 21 27 −6 24
11 Valencia 19 4 11 4 17 17 0 23
12 Levante 19 6 5 8 30 35 −5 23
13 Leganés 19 5 7 7 17 21 −4 22
14 Valladolid 19 5 7 7 17 21 −4 22
15 Athletic Bilbao 19 4 10 5 20 25 −5 22
16 Eibar 19 5 7 7 21 28 −7 22
17 Celta Vigo 19 5 6 8 31 32 −1 21
18 Rayo Vallecano 19 5 4 10 22 34 −12 19 Relegation to the Segunda División
19 Villarreal 19 3 8 8 20 25 −5 17
20 Huesca 19 2 5 12 17 36 −19 11
Updated to match(es) played on 14 January 2019. Source: La Liga, Soccerway
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head points; 3) Head-to-head goal difference; 4) Goal difference; 5) Goals scored; 6) Fair-play points (Note: Head-to-head record is used only after all the matches between the teams in question have been played)[76]

Positions by round[edit]

The table lists the positions of teams after each week of matches.
In order to preserve chronological evolvements, any postponed matches are not included to the round at which they were originally scheduled, but added to the full round they were played immediately afterwards.

Team ╲ Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
Barcelona22111112111121111111
Atlético Madrid891095343544333332222
Sevilla13512753143321222333
Real Madrid4122222479666544454
Alavés1917117346632544456545
Getafe17119510119139881112987776
Real Betis201813101385811131412141175667
Real Sociedad7781391013910121310810131515118
Girona12161266121115151110978910999
Espanyol104748675252557101114810
Valencia1115171715161414141415151114151481211
Levante3104111617161187789668101012
Leganés15121920201820181818181817161616161613
Valladolid131416191814107669713151212121514
Athletic Bilbao5568121515171716171718181818171715
Eibar14191515111317121215121310121413131316
Celta Vigo983347810131011141513119111417
Rayo Vallecano18202018191918191919191919191919191918
Villarreal1613181414912161617161616171717181819
Huesca66141617201920202020202020202020202020
Leader
UEFA Champions League Group stage
UEFA Europa League Group stage
UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round
Relegation to Segunda División
Source: BDFutbol.com

Results[edit]

Home \ Away ALA ATH ATM BAR CEL EIB ESP GET GIR HUE LEG LEV RAY BET RMA RSO SEV VAL VLD VIL
Alavés 0–0 2–1 1–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–1 2–1 2–1
Athletic Bilbao a 1–1 1–0 2–2 2–1 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–0 1–1 0–3
Atlético Madrid 3–0 3–2 1–1 1–1 1–0 3–0 1–0 1–0 1–0 a 2–0
Barcelona 3–0 1–1 2–0 3–0 a 2–2 8–2 3–4 5–1 4–2 2–0
Celta Vigo 0–1 1–2 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–0 2–4 3–3
Eibar 2–1 1–1 1–2 1–0 4–4 3–0 2–1 1–3 1–1 0–0
Espanyol 1–0 0–4 1–0 1–3 1–0 1–0 1–3 2–0 3–1
Getafe 0–2 1–2 2–0 3–0 a 0–1 2–0 1–0 0–1 0–0
Girona 1–1 1–1 3–2 2–3 1–1 0–0 2–1 0–1 1–4 0–0
Huesca 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–1 2–1 0–1 0–1 2–2
Leganés 1–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 1–0 1–0 2–2 1–1 0–1
Levante 2–1 3–0 0–5 1–2 2–2 2–0 1–3 2–6 2–2
Rayo Vallecano 1–5 1–1 2–3 4–2 1–0 2–2 1–2 2–1 1–4 2–2
Real Betis 2–2 3–3 1–1 1–0 0–3 2–0 1–2 1–0 1–0 0–1
Real Madrid a 0–0 a 1–0 2–0 4–1 1–2 1–0 0–2 2–0 2–0
Real Sociedad 0–1 a 1–2 2–1 3–2 0–0 2–2 0–0 0–1 1–2
Sevilla 1–1 2–1 2–1 0–2 2–0 2–1 a 3–0 1–0 0–0
Valencia 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–1 2–1 1–1 a 3–0 0–0 1–1 1–1 a
Valladolid 0–1 2–3 0–1 0–0 1–1 1–0 2–4 2–1 0–1
Villarreal 1–1 2–3 1–2 0–1 1–1 2–1 2–2 1–2 0–0 0–1
Updated to match(es) played on 14 January 2019. Source: La Liga
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Season statistics[edit]

Top goalscorers[edit]

As of 14 January 2019[77]
Rank Player Club Goals
1 Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 17
2 Uruguay Luis Suárez Barcelona 14
3 Uruguay Cristhian Stuani Girona 12
4 Spain Iago Aspas Celta Vigo 10
5 France Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla 9
Uruguay Maxi Gómez Celta Vigo
France Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid
Spain Borja Iglesias Espanyol

Top assists[edit]

As of 14 January 2019[78]
Rank Player Club Assists
1 Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 10
2 France Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid 6
Spain Pablo Sarabia Sevilla
4 France Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla 5
Uruguay Maxi Gómez Celta Vigo
Spain Jony Alavés
Spain Brais Méndez Celta Vigo
Spain Sergi Roberto Barcelona
Uruguay Luis Suárez Barcelona
Spain Cristian Tello Real Betis

Zamora Trophy[edit]

The Zamora Trophy is awarded by newspaper Marca to the goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-games ratio. A goalkeeper has to have played at least 28 games of 60 or more minutes to be eligible for the trophy.[79]

As of 14 January 2019[80]
Rank Name Club Goals
against
Matches Average
1 Slovenia Jan Oblak Atlético Madrid 13 19 0.68
2 Spain David Soria Getafe 16 19 0.84
3 Germany Marc-André ter Stegen Barcelona 20 19 1.05
Czech Republic Tomáš Vaclík Sevilla
5 Spain Jordi Masip Valladolid 21 19 1.11

Hat-tricks[edit]

Player For Against Result Date Round
Portugal André Silva Sevilla Rayo Vallecano 4–1 (A) 19 August 2018 1
France Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla Levante 6–2 (A) 23 September 2018 5
Spain Iago Aspas Celta Vigo Eibar 4–0 (H) 27 October 2018 10
Uruguay Luis Suárez Barcelona Real Madrid 5–1 (H) 28 October 2018
Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona Levante 5–0 (A) 16 December 2018 16
Spain Raúl de Tomás Rayo Vallecano Celta Vigo 4–2 (H) 11 January 2019 19
Note

(H) – Home ; (A) – Away

Discipline[edit]

As of 14 January 2019[81]
  • Most yellow cards (club): 68
    • Athletic Bilbao
  • Fewest yellow cards (club): 32
    • Barcelona
  • Most yellow cards (player): 9
  • Most red cards (club): 4
    • Levante
    • Rayo Vallecano
  • Fewest red cards (club): 0
    • Espanyol
    • Real Betis
    • Valladolid
  • Most red cards (player): 2

Average attendances[edit]

Pos Team Total High Low Average Change
1 Barcelona 756,361 90,985 52,356 75,636 +9.0%
2 Real Madrid 564,373 78,562 48,346 62,708 −4.5%
3 Atlético Madrid 571,981 66,908 47,109 57,198 +3.1%
4 Real Betis 468,840 52,819 40,218 46,884 +1.1%
5 Athletic Bilbao 365,287 46,860 34,060 40,677 +8.8%
6 Valencia 394,517 46,280 35,711 39,452 +2.0%
7 Sevilla 330,140 41,037 33,056 36,682 +10.9%
8 Real Sociedad 197,906 26,482 17,266 21,990 +11.6%
9 Levante 182,491 23,736 18,796 20,277 +14.7%
10 Espanyol 165,381 24,037 13,469 18,376 +4.1%
11 Valladolid 164,273 22,585 16,038 18,253 +56.2%1
12 Villarreal 164,306 19,903 13,685 16,431 −1.6%
13 Celta Vigo 161,285 21,184 13,266 16,129 −1.0%
14 Alavés 139,853 19,349 12,490 15,539 −0.3%
15 Rayo Vallecano 118,633 13,621 11,073 11,863 +26.3%1
16 Leganés 93,326 11,407 8,917 10,370 +11.1%
17 Girona 101,556 13,383 6,482 10,156 −0.8%
18 Getafe 93,709 14,721 7,600 10,412 +1.8%
19 Huesca 60,001 7,341 6,135 6,667 +59.2%1
20 Eibar 52,889 6,519 4,141 5,289 −0.7%
League total 5,188,587 90,985 4,141 27,308 +1.2%

Updated to games played on 16 January 2019
Source: World Football
Notes:
1: Team played last season in Segunda División.

LFP Awards[edit]

Monthly[edit]

Month Player of the Month Reference
Player Club
September Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona [82]
October Uruguay Luis Suárez Barcelona [83]
November Czech Republic Tomáš Vaclík Sevilla [84]
December France Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid [85]

Number of teams by autonomous community[edit]

Source:[86]

Autonomous Community Number Teams
1  Community of Madrid 5 Atlético Madrid, Getafe, Leganés, Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid
2  Basque Country 4 Alavés, Athletic Bilbao, Eibar and Real Sociedad
3  Catalonia 3 Barcelona, Espanyol, and Girona
 Valencian Community Levante, Valencia, and Villarreal
5  Andalusia 2 Real Betis and Sevilla
6  Aragon 1 Huesca
 Castile and Leon Valladolid
 Galicia Celta Vigo

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