Costa Rica Primera division
The Liga de Fútbol de Primera División, commonly known as Liga FPD and Liga Promérica, is the highest football division of the professional association in Costa Rica for sponsorship reasons. It is managed by the Unión de Clubes de Fútbol de La Primera División (UNAFUT). The league consists of 12 teams, with the last placed team relegated to the Liga de Ascenso.
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The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) rates the Liga FPD as the 51st strongest league in the world and the 2nd strongest league in the CONCACAF after the Mexican League MX.
The league was founded in 1921 and Herediano was crowned the first champion. Saprissa is the most successful club, having won the championship 34 times. Saprissa, associated with Alajuelense (29 titles) and Herediano (27 titles) have dominated the league.
The FPD League offers a format in which two separate tournaments take place during a particular season. The tournaments are called Torneo de Invierno and Torneo de Verano and are based on the seasons in Costa Rica. As a result, the Invierno tournament will be held in the rainy season between August and December, while the Verano tournament will be held in the dry season between January and May.
On the stages a separate tournament is played. The first level follows the usual double-round-robin format. During a tournament, each club plays twice, once at home and once away, against a total of 22 matchdays against any other club. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a defeat. The teams are ranked by total score, with the top four teams qualifying for the second stage at the end of the stage. The second phase consists of a quadrangle in which the top four teams face each other twice and add 6 additional games. If the top team of the first stage also wins the square, the club is crowned as a champion. Otherwise, a two-legged final will be played between the winners of the first leg and the winners of the quadrangle to determine the winner.
There is an ascent and descent system between the Primera División and the Segunda División. Although there are two champions in a regular season, the FPD only descends with one team per season, based on overall performance in the Invierno and Verano tournaments. The last placed team in the overall table descends to the Liga de Ascenso.
The top teams of the Liga FPD qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. From the 2017/18 season, the CONCACAF Champions League will be divided into two phases. The first phase is the CONCACAF League, which consists of sixteen teams from Central America and the Caribbean. The winner qualifies for the second phase, the Champions League, and joins another fifteen teams. Due to this format, the qualification criteria in the league FPD are:
When a team wins both the Invierno and Verano tournaments
The double master qualifies directly for the second stage of the Champions League
The two non-champion teams with the best record at the end of the season qualify for the CONCACAF League
When two teams become champions during the season
The champion with the best record qualifies directly for the second stage of the Champions League
The winner with the worst record qualifies for the CONCACAF League
The non-masterful team with the best record qualifies for the CONCACAF League
On June 13, 1921, the Costa Rican Football League was founded. With the founding of the tournament and the founding of a national team, the need for a tournament arose, since Costa Rica was invited in 1921 to the Juegos del Centenario to Guatemala.
The first season of the Costa Rican Primera División was held in 1921 with seven teams: Alajuelense, Cartaginés, Herediano, La Libertad, Sociedad Gimnástica Española, Sociedad Gimnástica Limonense and La Unión de Tres Ríos. La Libertad and Gimnástica Limonense played the first FPD game, with La Libertad victorious with a single goal scored by Rafael Madrigal. Herediano was crowned champion.
In 1999, the Costa Rican Football Federation created the abbreviation UNAFUT (Unión de Clubes de Fútbol de la Primera División), an organization and administration of the Primera División tournament and its youth leagues (Alto Rendimiento).
On January 9, 2014, UNAFUT decided to rename the tournament to Liga FPD to give the league more identity.
The main rival in the league is El Clásico, played by Alajuelense and Saprissa, as both teams are the most successful in the league and both share the vast majority of fans across the country. Since their first meeting in the old National Stadium on 12 October 1949, the two teams faced each other in over 300 games. The winner's balance was in favor of Saprissa.
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