Football leagues

Overviews and historical facts about football leagues.

European leagues

Collection of articles, beginning with the top-flight leagues in Europe. Other leagues follows further down.

Premier League

Premier League logoThe top-level division in England. Founded in 1992 (previously English Football League).

Premier League

Spanish La Liga

La Liga logoThe football league in Spain. Founded in 1929.

La Liga

Italian Serie A

Serie A logoThe top-level division in Italy. Founded in 1929 (with prehistory since 1898).

Serie A


Bundesliga logoThe top-level division in Germany. Founded in 1963 (with prehistory since 1898).


French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 logoThe top-level division in France. Founded in 2002 (previously Division 1).

Ligue 1

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Portuguese Primeira Liga logoThe top-level division in Portugal. Founded in 1934.

Primeira Liga

Scottish Premiership

Scottish Professional Football League logoThe top-level division in Scotland. Founded in 1890 (a.k.a. Scottish Championship).

Scottish Premiership

Polish Ekstraklasa

Ekstraklasa logoThe top-level division in Poland. Founded in 1927 (previously Polska Liga Piłki Nożnej).


Greek Super League

Greek Super League logoThe top-level division in Greece. Founded in 1959 (previously A National).

Greek Super League

Turkish Süper Lig

Turkish Süper Lig logoThe top-level division in Turkey. Founded in 1959 (previously Milli Lig).

Süper Lig

Russian Premier League (Premjer-Liga)

Russian Premier League logoThe top-level division in Russia. Founded in 1992.

Russian Premier League

Swiss Super League (Raiffeisen Football League)

Swiss Football League logoThe top-level division in Switzerland. Founded in 1898 (previously Swiss Serie A).

Swiss Super League

Ukrainian Premier League

Ukrainian Premier League logoThe top-level division in Ukraine. Founded in 2008 (previously Vyshcha Liha).

Ukrainian Premier League

Romanian Liga

Romanian Liga logoThe league system of Romanian. Founded in 1919.

Romanian Liga

Croatian Prva Liga

Prva Liga logoThe top-level division in Croatia. Founded in 1991 after the closure of the Yugoslav First League. Commonly abbreviated Prva HNL.

Prva Liga

Austrian Football Bundesliga

Austrian Football Bundesliga logoThe top-level division in Austrian. Founded in 1911.

Austrian Football Bundesliga

Serbian SuperLiga

The top-level division in Serbia. Founded in 2007.

Serbian SuperLiga

Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Premijer Liga)

The top-level division in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Founded in 2000.

Premijer Liga

South American leagues

After the game of fotball was imported from the Britons in late 19th century, Argentina was the first South American country to establish an official league.

Argentine Association Football League

What started as a mini-league in 1891 by the Argentine Association Football League (AAFL, later renamed to Asociación del fútbol) would develop into a bigger competition in 1893. The top division is known as Primera División de Argentina. The league would expand the following years: second division in 1895, third division in 1899, and forth division in 1902.

In the early years, the matches were played by British immigrants. The first season was contested by the following teams: Old Caledonians, St. Andrew's, Buenos Aires and Rosario Railway, Belgrano FC, Buenos Aires FC – all based in Buenos Aires. In the years to come, a growing number of native players would be involved. But it was not until the 20th century that today well-known clubs would be part of the league (Estudiantes did their first season in 1904; River Plate in 1909; Gimnasia in 1910; Racing in 1911).

Uruguayan Primera División

A Uruguayan football league was established in 1901, the second organized league in South America. The top division is known as the Uruguayan Primera División and is organized by the Uruguayan Football Association (Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol; AUF).


A Brazilian football league was established in 1902. Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is the top division in Brazil and is organized by The Brazilian Football Confederation (Confederação Brasileira de Futebol; CBF).

Leagues overview

Table 1. Football domestic top leagues
Name Country Founded
La Liga Spain 1929
Bundesliga Germany 1963
Ekstraklasa Poland 1992
Prva hrvatska nogometna liga Croatia 1992
Jupiler League Belgium 1895
Premjer-Liga Russia 1992
Persha Liha Ukraine 1992
Synot liga Czech Republic 1993
Nemzeti Bajnokság Hungary 1901
Premier League England 1992
A Profesionalna Futbolna Grupa Bulgaria 1924
Österreichische Fußball-Bundesliga Austria 1974
Swiss Super League Switzerland 1898
Superleague Greece Greece 1927
Allsvenskan Sweden 1924
Tippeligan Norway 1937
Super League Greece 1927
Superligaen Denmark 1991
Veikkausliiga Finland 1990
Primera División de Argentina Argentina 1891
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Brazil 1959
Liga MX Mexico 1943
Major League Soccer USA 1993

The oldest leagues

The oldest of all league is English Football League. The league still exists, but the top-flight is since 1992 replaced with the Premier League.

Table 2. Football leagues after establishment
Name Country Founded
English Football League England 1888
Scottish Football League Scotland 1890
Primera División de Argentina Argentina 1891
Calcutta Football League India 1898
Nemzeti Bajnokság Hungary 1901
Campeonato Paulista Brazil 1902

Dissolved leagues

Some no longer existing leagues.

Table 3. Dissolved football leagues
Name Country Existence
The Combination England 1888-1911
Football Alliance England 1889-1892
Istanbul Football League1 Turkey 1905-1959
Yugoslav First League Yugoslavia 1923-1992
Soviet Top League Soviet 1936-1991

1. Originally called Istanbul Sunday League. It was later renamed Istanbul Friday League before becoming the Istanbul Football League.