2018–19 La Liga

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

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La Liga
Season2018–19
Dates17 August 2018 – 19 May 2019
Matches played250
Goals scored632 (2.53 per match)
Top goalscorerLionel Messi
(25 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 run8 matches[1]
Barcelona
Longest unbeaten run18 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 attendance3,652
Eibar 3–0 Espanyol
(21 January 2019)
[1]
Total attendance6,807,079[1]
Average attendance27,337[1]
All statistics correct as of 25 February 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

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

Promotion and relegation (pre-season)

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

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]

TeamLocationStadiumCapacity
AlavésVitoria-GasteizMendizorrotza19,840[26]
Athletic BilbaoBilbaoSan Mamés53,000[27]
Atlético MadridMadridWanda Metropolitano68,000[28]
BarcelonaBarcelonaCamp Nou99,354[29]
Celta VigoVigoAbanca-Balaídos29,000[30]
EibarEibarIpurua7,083[31]
EspanyolBarcelonaRCDE Stadium40,000[32]
GetafeGetafeColiseum Alfonso Pérez17,000[33]
GironaGironaMontilivi13,500[34]
HuescaHuescaEl Alcoraz7,638[35]
LeganésLeganésButarque12,450[36]
LevanteValenciaCiutat de València26,354[37]
Rayo VallecanoMadridVallecas14,708[38]
Real BetisSevilleBenito Villamarín60,721[39]
Real MadridMadridSantiago Bernabéu81,044[40]
Real SociedadSan SebastiánAnoeta32,000[41]
SevillaSevilleRamón Sánchez Pizjuán42,714[42]
ValenciaValenciaMestalla49,500[43]
ValladolidValladolidJosé Zorrilla26,512[44]
VillarrealVillarrealEstadio de la Cerámica23,500[45]

Matches outside Spain

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

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, InnJoo13
Getafe Spain José Bordalás Spain Jorge Molina Joma Tecnocasa Group, @getafecf3
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 Ambar 0,03
Leganés Argentina Mauricio Pellegrino Argentina Alexander Szymanowski Joma Betway, Sambil Outlet Madrid,2 BeSoccer,3 Arriaga Asociados3
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 GreenEarth, 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, Betfair,2 EverFX3
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, Integra Energía,2 Valladolid Ciudad Amiga3
Villarreal Spain Javier Calleja Spain Bruno Joma Pamesa Cerámica, Endavant2
1. ^ On the back of shirt.
2. ^ On the sleeves.
3. ^ On the shorts.

Managerial changes

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]
Villarreal Spain Luis García 29 January 2019[76] 19th Spain Javier Calleja 29 January 2019[77]

League table

Standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Barcelona 25 17 6 2 65 25 +40 57 Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Atlético Madrid 25 14 8 3 36 17 +19 50
3 Real Madrid 25 15 3 7 43 30 +13 48
4 Getafe 25 10 9 6 32 22 +10 39
5 Sevilla 25 10 7 8 40 32 +8 37 Qualification for the Europa League group stage
6 Alavés 25 10 7 8 25 28 3 37 Qualification for the Europa League second qualifying round
7 Real Betis 25 10 6 9 29 30 1 36
8 Real Sociedad 25 9 8 8 30 25 +5 35
9 Valencia 25 6 15 4 25 21 +4 33
10 Athletic Bilbao 25 7 12 6 25 28 3 33
11 Eibar 25 7 10 8 33 35 2 31
12 Leganés 25 7 9 9 26 31 5 30
13 Levante 25 8 6 11 37 45 8 30
14 Espanyol 25 8 6 11 28 38 10 30
15 Girona 25 6 10 9 25 34 9 28
16 Valladolid 25 6 8 11 19 31 12 26
17 Celta Vigo 25 6 7 12 36 43 7 25
18 Villarreal 25 4 11 10 26 33 7 23 Relegation to the Segunda División
19 Rayo Vallecano 25 6 5 14 28 43 15 23
20 Huesca 25 4 7 14 24 41 17 19
Updated to match(es) played on 25 February 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)[78]

Positions by round

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
Barcelona221111121111211111111111111
Atlético Madrid89109534354433333222222322
Real Madrid4122222479666544454333233
Getafe17119510119139881112987776665554
Sevilla13512753143321222333444445
Alavés1917117346632544456545557666
Real Betis201813101385811131412141175667786787
Real Sociedad7781391013910121310810131515118899978
Valencia1115171715161414141415151114151481211978899
Athletic Bilbao5568121515171716171718181818171715141112131110
Eibar14191515111317121215121310121413131316111010101011
Leganés15121920201820181818181817161616161613151613111312
Levante3104111617161187789668101012101211141213
Espanyol104748675252557101114810131515121414
Girona12161266121115151110978910999121417171515
Valladolid131416191814107669713151212121514161314151616
Celta Vigo983347810131011141513119111417171816161717
Villarreal1613181414912161617161616171717181819191919191818
Rayo Vallecano18202018191918191919191919191919191918181718181919
Huesca66141617201920202020202020202020202020202020202020
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

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 0–0 2–1 1–1 2–1 2–0 0–1 0–0 1–0 1–1 2–1 2–1
Athletic Bilbao 0–0 1–0 1–1 1–0 2–2 2–1 1–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–0 1–1 0–3
Atlético Madrid 3–0 3–2 1–1 1–1 1–0 2–0 3–0 1–0 1–0 1–0 1–3 2–0 2–0
Barcelona 3–0 1–1 2–0 3–0 a 2–2 8–2 3–1 3–4 5–1 4–2 2–2 1–0 2–0
Celta Vigo 0–1 1–2 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–0 1–4 2–4 1–0 1–2 3–3
Eibar 2–1 1–1 3–0 2–2 3–0 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 1–1 1–0 1–0 2–1 1–3 2–4 2–0 3–1
Getafe 4–0 0–2 1–2 3–1 2–0 3–0 a 0–1 2–1 2–0 1–0 0–1 0–0
Girona 1–1 1–1 0–2 3–2 2–3 1–1 0–2 0–0 2–1 0–1 1–4 0–0 0–0
Huesca 0–1 0–3 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–1 2–1 0–1 0–1 4–0 2–2
Leganés 1–0 1–1 2–1 2–2 1–1 1–0 1–0 3–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–1
Levante 2–1 3–0 0–5 1–2 0–0 2–2 2–0 1–2 1–3 2–6 2–2 2–0
Rayo Vallecano 1–5 1–1 0–1 2–3 4–2 1–0 2–2 1–2 1–2 2–1 2–2 1–4 2–2
Real Betis 1–1 2–2 1–0 3–3 1–1 3–2 1–0 0–3 2–0 1–2 1–0 1–0 0–1
Real Madrid 3–0 a 0–0 a 1–0 2–0 1–2 4–1 1–2 1–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 2–0
Real Sociedad 0–1 2–1 1–2 2–1 3–2 0–0 0–0 3–0 2–2 0–0 0–1 1–2
Sevilla 1–1 2–4 2–1 2–2 2–1 0–2 2–0 2–1 5–0 a 3–0 1–0 0–0
Valencia 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–0 0–1 2–1 1–1 a 3–0 0–0 0–0 1–1 1–1 3–0
Valladolid 0–1 2–3 0–1 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–0 2–4 2–1 0–1 0–2 0–0
Villarreal 1–1 1–1 2–3 2–2 1–2 0–1 1–1 2–1 2–2 1–2 3–0 0–0 0–1
Updated to match(es) played on 25 February 2019. Source: La Liga
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Season statistics

Top goalscorers

As of 25 February 2019[79]
Rank Player Club Goals
1 Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 25
2 Uruguay Luis Suárez Barcelona 16
3 Uruguay Cristhian Stuani Girona 13
4 Brazil Charles Eibar 12
France Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid
6 France Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla 11
France Karim Benzema Real Madrid
8 Spain Iago Aspas Celta Vigo 10
Spain Raúl de Tomás Rayo Vallecano
Spain Borja Iglesias Espanyol
Spain Roger Martí Levante
Spain Jaime Mata Getafe
Spain Jorge Molina Getafe

Top assists

As of 25 February 2019[80]
Rank Player Club Assists
1 Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 11
2 Spain Pablo Sarabia Sevilla 9
3 Spain Jordi Alba Barcelona 7
France Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid
Spain Brais Méndez Celta Vigo
6 France Wissam Ben Yedder Sevilla 6
Spain Jony Alavés
Spain Jaime Mata Getafe

Zamora Trophy

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.[81]

As of 25 February 2019[82]
Rank Name Club Goals
against
Matches Average
1 Slovenia Jan Oblak Atlético Madrid 17 25 0.68
2 Spain David Soria Getafe 22 25 0.88
3 Germany Marc-André ter Stegen Barcelona 25 25 1
4 Spain Jordi Masip Valladolid 31 25 1.24
5 Czech Republic Tomáš Vaclík Sevilla 32 25 1.28

Hat-tricks

PlayerForAgainstResultDateRound
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
Morocco Youssef En-Nesyri Leganés Real Betis 3–0 (H) 10 February 2019 23
Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona Sevilla 4–2 (A) 23 February 2019 25
Note

(H) – Home ; (A) – Away

Discipline

As of 18 February 2019[83]

Player

Team

  • Most yellow cards: 76
    • Athletic Bilbao
  • Most red cards: 5
    • Athletic Bilbao
    • Celta Vigo
    • Getafe
  • Fewest yellow cards: 43
    • Barcelona
    • Real Madrid
  • Fewest red cards: 0
    • Espanyol
    • Valladolid

Average attendances

Pos Team Total High Low Average Change
1 Barcelona 951,255 90,985 50,670 73,173 +5.5%
2 Real Madrid 754,111 78,562 48,346 62,843 −4.3%
3 Atlético Madrid 754,470 67,804 47,109 58,036 +4.6%
4 Real Betis 610,076 52,819 40,218 46,929 +1.2%
5 Athletic Bilbao 538,148 47,629 34,060 41,396 +10.8%
6 Valencia 510,919 46,280 35,711 39,301 +1.6%
7 Sevilla 441,758 41,037 33,056 36,813 +11.3%
8 Real Sociedad 269,123 27,073 17,266 22,427 +13.8%
9 Levante 242,605 23,736 18,437 20,217 +14.3%
10 Espanyol 227,680 24,037 13,469 18,973 +7.5%
11 Valladolid 219,577 22,585 16,038 18,298 +56.5%1
12 Villarreal 214,094 19,903 13,685 16,469 −1.4%
13 Celta Vigo 210,027 21,184 13,266 16,156 −0.9%
14 Alavés 179,529 19,349 10,394 14,961 −4.0%
15 Rayo Vallecano 156,470 13,880 11,073 12,036 +28.2%1
16 Girona 135,886 13,649 6,482 10,453 +2.1%
17 Leganés 124,592 11,425 8,917 10,383 +11.2%
18 Getafe 123,317 14,721 7,600 10,276 +0.4%
19 Huesca 79,889 7,341 6,052 6,657 +59.0%1
20 Eibar 65,409 6,519 3,652 5,031 −5.5%
League total 6,809,141 90,985 3,652 27,237 +0.9%

Updated to games played on 25 February 2019
Source: World Football
Notes:
1: Team played last season in Segunda División.

LFP Awards

Monthly

Month Player of the Month Reference
Player Club
September Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona [84]
October Uruguay Luis Suárez Barcelona [85]
November Czech Republic Tomáš Vaclík Sevilla [86]
December France Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid [87]
January Spain Iñaki Williams Athletic Bilbao [88]

Number of teams by autonomous community

Source:[89]

Autonomous Community Number Teams
1  Community of Madrid5Atlético Madrid, Getafe, Leganés, Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid
2  Basque Country4Alavés, Athletic Bilbao, Eibar and Real Sociedad
3  Catalonia3Barcelona, Espanyol, and Girona
 Valencian CommunityLevante, Valencia, and Villarreal
5  Andalusia2Real Betis and Sevilla
6  Aragon1Huesca
 Castile and LeonValladolid
 GaliciaCelta Vigo

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