click on the pictures to enlarge and see description

The Argentinian Football League works in such a particular way, that this is the only country ever using this system, and it's so twisted no other country would bother, in fairness.


This is not an opinion, but you'll see there's no other way of describing it.

First of all...

There are 6 different divisions in Argentinian Football.

The lower stage to the last one is getting kicked out for a year from proffessional football, havign to compite in amateur leagues for that period.

Season's System

In Argentinian football there's 2 seasons each year. One is called "Clausura" and the folowing is the "Apertura".

The Clausura, which means "Closing" is the season that opens the year, and the Apertura (Opening) is the one that closes it, as incovenient as it sounds.


First division is constitued by 20 teams, some of which can be named without the need to update the list, as it's impossible they get relegated in at least a long time, and this is not an opinion.


Despite having two seasons, relegation only takes place once a year of course, but in a very particular way.


Average Chart as commonly published on Newspapers
Average Chart as commonly published on Newspapers

Relegation is not determined on a team's performance throughout a season, but on its "average"performance.


So, it's the "Chart of Averages" what shows how close relegation is for a team.


A team's "average" is given by the total amount of points, divided by the total ammount of  played matches, from the minute the team gets to the division (wether it's 100 years, 1 season or 3 matches)

Why big teams never get relegated

Old teams, who have been in a same division for a long time, have played thousand of matches in it, and therefor their "average" doesn't change dramatically for losing or winning a season.


A team that has just got a division has few matches in it, and therefore winning or losing only one match means relegation or not.


For example:


A team that's been in first division for the past 5 years, has played more or less 200 matches. Say it's won 175 and lost 25. Each won match means 3 points, that gives the team a total

of 525 points (175x3).


This teams average is then: 525 points divided by 200 played matches, giving it an average of 2,62.


Considering the higest average is 3 (winning every single match you've played), 2.62 is not a bad avarage at all.


So losing 2 matches in a row would change the previous numbers to still 525 points but 202 matches.

Leaving the team an average of 2.59 (525/202)


As you can see, it doens't mean much.


On the other hand a small team, who's just got to first division:


Playing 10 matches (winning 7 drawing 2 and losing 1) would mean a total ammount of point of 22. Hence an average of 2.2 (22/10)


Already you can see both teams are equally far from relegation, despite their different situations. 


Nevertheless, this has its bad side on the new teams.


In this case, two lost matches in a row, like in the previous example, change the team's numbers to 12 played matches and still 22 points.


Changing the average to 22/12 wich equals 1.83. Two more matches will change the result even more dramatically.


By the end of the season, the last four teams in the "Average's Chart" will have their names higlighted in either orange or red.


The very last too, in red, face Direct Relegation, meaning of course there's no chances of staying in that division. And the previous 2 to the directly relegated teams, face "Promotion".


Promotion is a two leg match between the 2 teams in orange against the 3rd and 4th best team of the division below, to see who stays/gets relegated or get promoted.


In case the global result of the 2 leg match is a draw, the team that comes from the higer division gets to keep their place, due to seniority.


In Latin America there are two diferent types of Stadiums: the Estadios which have a massive capacity, other sports facilities besides football, and different hierarchical seats; and the Canchas which are small versions of stadiums.


Here, the only sport facility is a football pitch, there aren't many different types of seats and the capacity is a lot less.

Cancha                                                Estadio

In Argentina most teams have a Cancha rather than an Estadio. The few proper Stadiums in Argentina have in general, been built by the government instead of the club itself, for the 1978 World Cup because Argentina was the host.


Independiente deserves a mention here I think, as the club has recently opened the doors of its new Stadium.

All football Stadiums (Canchas or Estadios) have a nickname is Argentina.


The most famous one is The Bombonera (Home Stadium of Boca Juniors).

This name means "Chocolate Box" and it reffers to the small size of the stadium, as back in the days when it was built there weren't smaller Stadiums that this one.


River Plate's known as "El Monumental", as it's the biggest in the country.


Other Stadiums unofficial names are related to shapes or facts rather than size.

Boca Juniors' Stadium               River Plate's Stadium

The Big 5

"The Big 5" are the 5 teams in Argentina that have the more supporters.

Recently, a 6th team has had to be added to the list, although ironically the name "Big 5" hasn't changed.


These teams are:


♦River Plate (CARP)          ♦Boca Juniors (CABJ)

♦Independiente (CAI)        ♦ Racing Club

♦San Lorenzo (CASLA)       ♦Vélez Sarfield