The Primeira Liga is a National Football League contested by the top 18 football clubs of Portugal. It is also widely known as Liga NOS for some of the sponsorship reasons. The league was founded in 1934 which is still operating on the system of promotion and relegation. The lowest two clubs are relegated into the Segunda Liga from and are replaced by the two top placed football clubs from the Segunda Liga. Since the inception of Peimeira Liga, 70 football clubs have contested the league but only 5 clubs were able to win the title with Sporting CP winning 18 times, Benefica winning 35 times, Porto 27 times while Belenenses and Boavista winning one title each.
Portugese National Football League
The Big three football clubs of the Primeira Liga are Benefica, Porto and Sporting CP. It is considered as the fifth most popular league in the European Football Leagues behind Barclays Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A. According to IFFHS, the Primeira League has also reached the fourth rank in the year 2011. The Primeira Liga season begins in August of every year likewise, all other football leagues and continues till May of every year. Following were the Portugese football clubs that contested the league in year 2015-2016; Benefica, Sporting CP, Academica, Arouca, Belenenses, Porto, Boavista, Braga, Estoril, Maritimo, Moreirense, Pacos de Ferreira, Tondela, Nacional, Rio Ave, Uniao da Madeira, Vitoria de Guimaraes and Vitoria de Setubal.
The top two teams of the Primeira Liga direct qualify for the UEFA Champions League while that of Third top team enters the playoffs in order to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Teams at the fourth and fifth place qualify for the UEFA Europa League along with the winners of Taca de Portugal Cup if they have already qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Each team has to play a total number of 34 matches; one at their home ground and other at the opponent’s home ground. Each club plays with every other clubs twice in a soccer season.
The Big three Portugese clubs
The Big three Portugese clubs dominated the Primeira Liga and enjoys the highest number of fans following. It is also witnessed that there is a highest number of attendance in the matches of these three football clubs while the other clubs, lack support from the local citizens. However, Vitoria de Guimaraes and Braga are next most supported by the locals. The Big three football clubs frequently appeared in the UEFA competitions. Benefica is the only club that has won all the Portugese titles which are estimated to be 74 and total title winnings as 76. However, Porto is the portugese club with most International titles and Portugese SuperCups won.
On the other hand when it comes to Sporting CP, then it has been on the third place to win most of the Championship titles and domestic cup titles. Benefica is the only portugese club to consecutively win the UEFA Champions League twice with the appearance of 10 European finals. Porto has been the only to win the international competitions since 1987 with a total of winning two UEFA Champions League and two UEFA Europa League. However, it did not win any UEFA Intertoto Cup. In addition, Sporting CP was able to won European Cup once and has been a runner-up in UEFA Cup once. Apart from these Portugese big three football clubs, Braga won the latest UEFA Intertoto Cup and was a runner-up for one UEFA Europa League. All of the live matches of the Primeira Liga are broadcast on Sport TV whereas; the home matches of Benefica are broadcast by Benefica TV itself.