Is Sport in Spain so special? There are some things that every football fan knows, such as La Liga being the top league in Europe or Messi scoring goals at a rate never seen before. This infographic highlights some other interesting facts that show why Spanish football has become so popular around the globe.
THE SPORT IS VERY POPULAR EVERYWHERE IN EUROPE
Many people would argue that Spain’s biggest export is not its beautiful women but footballers. Names like Ronaldo, Modric, Robben, Bale, Silva, Iniesta, and many more have made the move across the Atlantic Ocean. Football fans in England, France, Germany, and Italy know what we’re talking about.
THE LEAGUE HAS BEEN ARGUING OVER CROWNED KINGDOMS FOR YEARS NOW
Since 1992, there have been four different champions. Clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid have been fighting over the title ever since. But through good management and consistent success, each club has won three times already.
IT’S ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPORTS TO WATCH ON TV.
It costs around $2 million just to make sure your favorite players stay fit and perform well during a season. They don’t call it ‘Soccer Money’ for nothing.
THE CLUB OWNERS ARE SOME OF THE MOST WEALTHY AND POWERFUL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
David Beckham earns $25 million per year with his contract at LA Galaxy. Karim Benzema earns up to five times that amount playing for Lyon. But they aren’t even among the highest-paid athletes in their sport. Cristiano Ronaldo gets a whopping $50 million to take part in matches with Juventus.
THERE WERE TWO PREMIER LEAGUES BEFORE BECOMING ONE
The Spanish League was formed back in 1929 when clubs from Mallorca and Levante joined forces together. By 1937, this merged league had developed into one where all the best teams could compete against each other. But it wasn’t until later on that the Primera División became the most successful division in world football.
THE FIRST GOAL WAS SCORED AT THE OLYMPICS IN REAL MADRID.
With a goal scored by Amadeo against Athletic Bilbao, the first official game of La Liga took place on December 2, 1931.
FIBA AND NBA PLAYERS COME FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE
Players like Pau Gasol (Spain), Kevin Durant (USA), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Dwight Howard (Australia), and Steve Nash (Canada) all play basketball and football overseas. Basketball is huge in Latin America. But the Spaniards dominate the European scene.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR PEP GUARDIOLA STILL MAKES MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE.
Pep Guardiola currently earns €10 million per year to be the manager of Manchester City. He also makes €15 million from coaching Bayern Munich. And if you add both salaries together and divide it by two, he still earns more than any player or coach worldwide!
THE TOP FOUR DIVISIONS HAVE ONLY HAD 16 TEAMS EACH
It’s rare to see these divisions only have 16 clubs in them due to how big the country is. But it’s done to keep the competition tight and exciting. Even though the number of teams hasn’t changed much, the league system has.
NO CHAMPIONSHIP WILL EVER BE COUNTED AS OFFICIAL.
As long as there have been football leagues in Spain, they haven’t always counted championships correctly. For example, Real Madrid has won six titles so far but the sixth championship will not be recognized because they didn’t win it.
THEY PLAY WITH THEIR HEELS TIED UNDER THEIR ARM
Before the match begins, they tie their laces together with string, making it impossible to kick the ball away. This is called being castrense.
THE SPANISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE ISN’T JUST ABOUT PROFITING YOUNG MEN.
Many women play football professionally in Spain too. Some of the biggest names include Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Fernanda Melchiondo, Iniesta’s wife Antonia López Trujillo, and several others.
THERE ARE THREE GRAND FAMILY CLUBS IN THE LEAGUE
FC Barcelona, Valencia CF and Real Sociedad. These three teams get support from the government and therefore do well financially. Due to this reason, they are often referred to as ‘the banks’ due to how much money they make daily.
Football is played around the globe and its rules remain simple yet can adapt according to the environment. That alone shows how special this sport is. So next time you step onto your favorite stadium, don’t forget to take a look up above the stands and admire the beautiful game.