Primeira Liga: What is the level of the Portuguese league? Where are the strong teams?

Europe League

Many people have probably never heard of Primeira Liga. Of course, the Portuguese league is not a very well-known league. There are some strong teams, but other teams are hardly known.


primeira liga

Primeira Liga refers to the first division of the Portuguese league. Primeira Liga is also sometimes referred to as La Liga Portugal, which is a sponsorship name. Primeira Liga is Portugal’s top league and was created in 1934. It will be 90 years old in the 2023-24 season, so you can see that it is a league with a long history.

Tournament format

The Primeira Liga is divided into 18 teams and plays home and away matches. The top three clubs will qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. The 4th and 5th place teams will qualify for the UEFA Europa League. We have adopted a system in which the two clubs in 17th and 18th place are relegated to the second division league called Segundariga.

Taça de Portugal

Taça de Portugal is a domestic cup match in Portugal. The tournament format will be a one-shot tournament, with only the semi-finals being home and away matches. Clubs from Portugal’s 1st to 4th divisions participate, and the winning team will qualify for the following year’s UEFA Europa League.

Supertassa Candido de Oliveira

Supertassa Candido de Oliveira is named after former Portuguese national team player Candido de Oliveira. This means the so-called Super Cup, a match between the winner of Taça de Portugal and the winner of Primeira Liga.

Tassa da Liga

Taça da Liga is Portugal’s domestic cup competition. Teams from Portugal’s first and second divisions will participate. Taça da Liga is a cup competition that is treated completely differently from Taça de Portugal.

portuguese league level

Many people probably don’t understand the level of the Portuguese league. This can be said to be natural. The major leagues in Europe are Spain, England, Italy, and Germany, and when it comes to the leagues that follow, you may have an image of the Netherlands and France, but when it comes to Portugal, you get a poor impression. What is the level of the Portuguese league?

UEFA Country Ranking

There is something called UEFA Country Rankings. The ranking method is to rank the league teams based on points based on their performance in cup matches in Europe such as CL and EL. Points are calculated based on each team’s results in the same cup match over 5 years. You can see the latest rankings from the link below.

UEFA Country Ranking

As you can see from this ranking, the four major leagues clearly stand out. France, Portugal, Belgium, and the Netherlands follow suit. The level of the Portuguese league is hovering around 6th or 7th place. However, in recent years it has been closely chasing France, which is in fifth place, and there is a high possibility that it will overtake France in the future.

UEFA club rankings

So, in the Portuguese league, are there any teams that can be considered strong from a club perspective? In such cases, the UEFA club rankings can be helpful. If you look at the club rankings, teams like Porto, Sporting, and Benfica come out at the top. These teams are also participating in the UEFA Champions League, so many people should know about them.

UEFA Club Ranking

So, have these clubs won the UEFA Champions League? Speaking of recent times, it was a long time ago, but Porto won the championship during the Mourinho era. We’re talking about the 2003-04 season, so it’s quite a long time ago. As you can see from this, Portugal’s top clubs are nowhere near the top level of the four major leagues, but they do have abilities close to them.

UEFA Champions League wins

They have won the UEFA Champions League four times, which shows that they have lost significantly compared to the four major leagues.

Portugal 4

Now, if we look at the number of wins by club, out of Portugal’s four wins, two went to Benfica and two went to Porto. The impression was that Portugal’s strong team took advantage of several chances.

Real Madrid14
AC Milan7
Bayern Munich6
Inter Milan3
Manchester United3

Powerful teams in the Portuguese league

The following teams are very famous among the powerful Portuguese teams.

FC Porto

FC Porto is a team representing Portugal. In Portugal, there is a team known as the Big 3, with Porto, Sporting, and Benfica being considered the top teams. They are a top team that has won the Primeira Liga more than 30 times, have won the cup competition more than 10 times, and have won the UEFA Champions League twice, and are one of the few teams that can compete with the powerhouses of the four major leagues.

SL Benfica

Benfica, like Porto, is a powerful team in Portugal and is part of the Big 3. Like Porto, Benfica is also a strong team that has won the UEFA Champions League twice, won the Primeira Liga over 30 times, and has won many cup matches. Many people probably know Benfica as they often appear in the UEFA Champions League.

Sporting Clube de Portugal

Sporting is also a team known as the Big 3, just like Porto. However, Sporting has never won the UEFA Champions League. The only international title is winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. And their league championships are far behind Benfica and Porto. Therefore, in terms of track record, this team is a little behind the big three.

Watch Primeira Liga

Primeira Liga is one of the top leagues in the world. Therefore, there are many services that broadcast Primeira Liga, so please enjoy the live broadcast.

ChannelPlanSoccer ContentsURL
DAZN\3750national team
major europe leagues
J league
Hulu¥1026french league
dutch league
WOWOW\2530UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
ABEMA TV¥960national team
World Cup
Premier League
scottish league
スカパー¥429 + ¥2480national team
emperor’s cup soccer
J SPORTS\1100fifa world youthJ SPORTS


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