Spanish football is considered by many to be the best in the world in terms of the quality of the matches played. The top division, La Liga, is watched by millions of fans each weekend as some of the biggest players and teams do battle.
La Liga is officially regarded as Europe’s leading league by UEFA, who place Spain top of the UEFA Coefficients table and designate the country a full compliment of four Champions League spots each year, a privilege also afforded to Germany and England.
The Spanish Football System
While there are plenty of betting options for La Liga at the top of the Spanish football pyramid, you can also place bets each week during the season on the second and third tiers; La Liga B and the Segunda Division B. Then there is the Copa del Rey, meaning the King’s Cup in English, which is Spain’s domestic cup competition and is also a popular betting option.
La Liga B and the Segunda Division B differ from lower tiers in some other European countries, as they include the reserve teams of some of the big La Liga teams – Barcelona B, for example.
Spanish Football Teams And Players
In recent years, three teams have claimed by far the most success in the Spanish game: Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid. Real are considered by many to be the biggest club in world football, having lifted a record 11 European Cup titles to go with their 32 La Liga titles and 19 Copa del Reys.
Real’s transfer policy of plucking the best talent from around the world, with seemingly little regard for the price tag, makes them one of the world’s most popular teams and a force to be reckoned with in Spanish football. They currently boast four-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, along with other stars such as Wales’ Gareth Bale, France’s Karim Benzema and Colombia’s James Rodriguez. The arrival of the Brit Bale has piqued the interest of UK fans, in the same way that the moves of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steve McManaman to the Santiago Bernabeu did in the past.
Fierce rivals of Real in terms of both their ideology and history, Barcelona can also claim to be one of the world’s most popular teams, currently boasting a mouthwatering strikeforce known as ‘MSN’. Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, the magical and mesmerising Argentine forward, teams up with the formidable Uruguayan Luis Suarez and silkily skilled Brazilian Neymar, to make Barcelona a truly box office proposition with a distinctive playing style. Matches at their impressive Camp Nou ground can attract as many as 99,000 people, and Barcelona are a team loved around the world for their inventiveness, flair, and pure brand of football.
Often La Liga has turned out as a battle between Real and Barca, meaning they are very attractive betting options, but in recent times Atletico Madrid have pushed to turn the ‘Big Two’ into the ‘Big Three’, winning the title in 2014 and also reaching the final of the Champions League twice in three years. ‘Atleti’ can also field some of the world’s best, including French hitman Antoine Griezmann, who finished as top goalscorer for his national team in the 2016 European Championships. Atleti’s rise in recent times has been a welcome change from the two horse race we often saw La Liga turn into.
Outside of the top three, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia and Sevilla have all been competitive domestically and continentally in the last decade, with the latter winning the Europa League an incredible five times since 2006.
Betting On Spanish Football
There are no shortage of places to bet on Spanish football if you live in the UK, including with online providers such as Paddy Power, Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bet365, Sky Bet, Betfair, Bwin and 888 Sport. Copa del Rey betting is also widely available and a limited number of online bookies offer La Liga 2 and Segunda Division B odds.
Sky Sports broadcast live coverage of La Liga in the UK and for those seeking a feast of football action, the fixture format will accommodate you nicely. Kick off times are often staggered throughout the day, meaning on a weekend you can sometimes sit back and enjoy four matches back to back, from early afternoon into the evening. For those that like to bet on football, what more could you ask for?
The success of Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Spanish national team in recent times has represented Spain’s rise to what many believe is the pinnacle of world football. Helped by the financial muscle of the two huge clubs, which procure some of the most exciting players available, Spanish football is an enticing proposition which makes for entertaining betting options for customers in the UK.