The Portuguese Premeira Liga is the top league in Portugal. It was founded in 1934 and currently consists of 18 competing teams with the top 3 teams qualifying for the following season’s Champions League.
In 2012 the Primeira Liga overtook the French Ligue 1 in fifth place in UEFA’s European club league rankings. As of 2014, the league is still ranked 5th in Europe.
The most successful side in the league’s history is Benfica, who has won the title 33 times. The Primeira Liga is known for its ‘Big Three’; Benfica, FC Porto (27 titles) and Sporting (18 titles). The league title has been won by a team outside the Big Three on two occasions only; by Belenenses in 1946 and Boavista in 2001.
Current FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo played for Sporting before joining Manchester United. Other players to have graced the league include Argentineans Javier Saviola and Pablo Aimar,Barzilian Hulk , Columbian Radamel Falcao and Paraguayan Oscar Cardozo as well as former Portuguese stars Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Pauleta and Deco
On four occasions a team has won the Primeira Liga title without losing a single match, this feat was most recently achieved by Porto in the 2012-13 season.
The all-time leading scorer in the league is Sporting’s Fernando Peyroteo who scored 331 goals, second in place is Eusebio, considered by many as the best Portuguese player in all times historywith 319goals.. Third on the list is Fernando Gomes, who played for both Sporting and Porto, with 318 goals.
Legendary manager Jose Mourinho started his managerial career at Benfica before eventually moving to Porto. Under Mourinho, Porto won their first Champions League and backtoback Primeira Liga titles.
This season Benfica has in its ranks Uruguayan midfielder Maxi Perreira, Argentineans Nicolas Gaitan and Enzo Perez (lasy year's best player of the league) and Brazilians Bebe and Julio Cesar, . Porto’s key players include Mexican star Hector Herrera, Columbian Jackson and Tello loaned from Barcelona. . Sporting’s star men are Colombian forward Fredy Montero,Nani, returning to its former club on loan from Manchester United and goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
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