success breeds successThe 2015 Argentinian Primera División sees its first Superclásico of the season this weekend and so on this week’s report we take a look at the format of the Argentinan top division. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the post.


This is the number of teams playing in the top tier of Argentinian football this season which is an increase of 10 from previous years. No teams were relegated from the Primera División last season, while ten teams were promoted including Argentinos Juniors, Colón and Huracán. One of the reasons for the increase in the number of sides is the wish for the football authorities to have more teams from outside the capital Buenos Aires involved in the top division. How well this decision plays out remains to be seen.

2 Superclásicos

Teams will play each other once – 29 games – and will then play one more game against one of their local rivals; hence two Superclásicos between Boca and River this season. It will also mean Estudiantes will take on Gimnasia in the derby of La Plata, Independiente will face Racing and Rosario will play Newell’s Old Boys. Of course, not all teams have a ‘natural’ rival so some of these match-ups will not have too much of a local flavour.

Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and Relegation

Now the top two teams at the end of the year (the season finishes in November) will qualify directly for the following season’s Copa Libertadores, along with the winners of the Argentinian Cup. The fourth spot will come from a mini league played out among the teams finishing third to sixth in the league. There will be another mini league for the teams that finish seventh down to 18th to determine which teams will participate in the Copa Sudamericana – the equivalent of the Europa League. As for relegation, two teams will be relegated from the top tier at the end of the season but not necessarily the two teams that finish in 29th and 30th positions. Instead, the teams with the worst average over three years will go down. Confusing? Just a little, though it is in keeping with the confusing nature of Argentina’s football league format history.

Vocabulary support

the top tier: The top division

decision plays out: Decision occurs

remains to be seen: We are not yet sure what will happen

match-ups: matches/games

spot: position

to determine: To decide

will go down: Will be relegated

it is in keeping with: It is consistent with, it is the same as

Further Links

If you want to know more about a particular area of football language leave a comment below. You can also subscribe here to receive our selection of football clichés and of course you can check out our huge list of football vocabulary here.

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