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Football in Spain - statistics & facts

Football is the most popular sport in Spain, with over one million players of all ages in nearly 28.5 thousand clubs registered in the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). Catalonia is the Spanish region with the most registered footballers, whereas Andalusia has the highest number of clubs. However, despite the steady growth in registrations seen in the past few years, the share of the population playing football and that of people attending live matches has been decreasing. In any case, attendance figures in Spain's top-tier league, LaLiga, did not change significantly until the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020.

Professional football: LaLiga

The Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LNFP), Spanish for National Professional Football League, is the private sports association running the two main leagues in Spain: LaLiga Santander (20 teams), and the second-tier league, LaLiga Smartbank (22 teams). Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are the Spanish football clubs with the most league titles. When it comes to the Copa del Rey, however, FC Barcelona is the king. With 31 Cups, the Catalan club leads the ranking ahead of Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid.

In the 2019/2020 season, the economic impact of the coronavirus was not as bad as initially feared. Even though fans were not allowed into stadiums when the championship resumed in June, the income from television rights made up for that loss. In the end, the net revenue of the football teams in Spain's LaLiga dropped by less than four percent, runner-up FC Barcelona and champion Real Madrid seeing the most significant declines, at 77 and 42 million euros respectively. In the 2020/2021 season, on the other hand, the investment in transfers and the salary caps in Spain's first division dropped noticeably.

Women's football

The number of female football players registered in Spain has grown considerably in the past few years. Over 70 thousand girls and women play in a club, Catalonia and the Basque Country having the highest number of female footballers, at nearly 13 and 12 thousand respectively. The top-tier league, named “Primera Iberdrola” after the main sponsor since 2016, is run by the RFEF and consists of 18 teams. Since its foundation in 1988, 12 teams have been able to win the championship. FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, with five titles each, top the ranking.

Thanks to new sponsors and more media coverage, women’s football is growing rapidly in Spain. More and more major clubs are increasing investments in their women’s teams and great efforts are being made to finally professionalize the league. After all, Spanish girls have already shown what they are capable of by winning the UEFA Euro U17 and U19 on several occasions, as well as one FIFA World Cup U17. The senior national team has made it to the World Cup twice so far, in 2015 and 2019. As of August 2020, the squad ranked 13th in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Football in Spain" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Spanish men's national team

"El Clasico": Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona

Professional football sponsorship

International football clubs

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 34 most important statistics relating to "Football in Spain".

Football in Spain

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!
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Football in Spain - statistics & facts

Football is the most popular sport in Spain, with over one million players of all ages in nearly 28.5 thousand clubs registered in the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). Catalonia is the Spanish region with the most registered footballers, whereas Andalusia has the highest number of clubs. However, despite the steady growth in registrations seen in the past few years, the share of the population playing football and that of people attending live matches has been decreasing. In any case, attendance figures in Spain's top-tier league, LaLiga, did not change significantly until the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020.

Professional football: LaLiga

The Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LNFP), Spanish for National Professional Football League, is the private sports association running the two main leagues in Spain: LaLiga Santander (20 teams), and the second-tier league, LaLiga Smartbank (22 teams). Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are the Spanish football clubs with the most league titles. When it comes to the Copa del Rey, however, FC Barcelona is the king. With 31 Cups, the Catalan club leads the ranking ahead of Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid.

In the 2019/2020 season, the economic impact of the coronavirus was not as bad as initially feared. Even though fans were not allowed into stadiums when the championship resumed in June, the income from television rights made up for that loss. In the end, the net revenue of the football teams in Spain's LaLiga dropped by less than four percent, runner-up FC Barcelona and champion Real Madrid seeing the most significant declines, at 77 and 42 million euros respectively. In the 2020/2021 season, on the other hand, the investment in transfers and the salary caps in Spain's first division dropped noticeably.

Women's football

The number of female football players registered in Spain has grown considerably in the past few years. Over 70 thousand girls and women play in a club, Catalonia and the Basque Country having the highest number of female footballers, at nearly 13 and 12 thousand respectively. The top-tier league, named “Primera Iberdrola” after the main sponsor since 2016, is run by the RFEF and consists of 18 teams. Since its foundation in 1988, 12 teams have been able to win the championship. FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, with five titles each, top the ranking.

Thanks to new sponsors and more media coverage, women’s football is growing rapidly in Spain. More and more major clubs are increasing investments in their women’s teams and great efforts are being made to finally professionalize the league. After all, Spanish girls have already shown what they are capable of by winning the UEFA Euro U17 and U19 on several occasions, as well as one FIFA World Cup U17. The senior national team has made it to the World Cup twice so far, in 2015 and 2019. As of August 2020, the squad ranked 13th in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking.

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