Liga I

Last updated

Liga I
The official logo for Liga I during 2019-20 season.png
Organising body Liga Profesionistă de Fotbal
Founded1909;111 years ago (1909)
CountryRomania
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams16 (from 2020–21)
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Liga II
Domestic cup(s) Cupa României
Supercupa României
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current champions CFR Cluj (6th title)
(2019–20)
Most championships FCSB (26 titles)
Most appearances Ionel Dănciulescu (515)
Top goalscorer Dudu Georgescu (252 goals)
TV partners Digi Sport
Look Plus
Telekom Sport
Website lpf.ro
Soccerball current event.svg 2020–21 Liga I

The Liga 1 (Romanian pronunciation:  [ˈliɡa ˈunu] ; English: League One), most often spelled as Liga I (Romanian pronunciation:  [ˈliɡa ɨnˈtɨj] ; English: First League), is a Romanian professional league for men's association football clubs. It is currently sponsored by betting company Casa Pariurilor, and thus officially known as the Casa Liga 1. [1] At the top of the Romanian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 16 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Liga II. The teams play 30 matches each in the regular season, and then enter the championship play-off or the relegation play-out according to their position in the regular season.

Contents

Liga I was established in 1909 and commenced play for the 1909–10 campaign, being currently on the 29th place in UEFA's league coefficient ranking list. It is administered by the Liga Profesionistă de Fotbal (LPF). Before the 2006–07 season, the competition was known as Divizia A, but the name had to be changed following the finding that someone else had registered that trademark. [2]

The best performer is FCSB with 26 titles, [note 1] followed by cross-town rival Dinamo București with 18 trophies. Of the remaining 21 clubs which came victorious in the competition, eight have won it on at least three occasions—Venus București, UTA Arad, Chinezul Timișoara, Universitatea Craiova, Petrolul Ploiești, Ripensia Timișoara, Rapid București, and CFR Cluj. The latter has only been remarkably successful in the 21st century.

History

Early championships (1909–1921)

The first official national football tournament was organized in 1909 by the recently founded Romanian Football Federation, then called the Association of Athletic Societies in Romania (Romanian : Asociațiunea Societăților Atletice din România). The final matches of the first Romanian Football Championship were held between December 1909 and January 1910 in Bucharest. [3] [4] The three pioneer clubs were Olympia and Colentina from Bucharest and United from Ploiești. Each team played a fixture against the other two clubs, totalizing a number of three matches disputed, with Olympia București being crowned as champions of the first Romanian Football Championship. [3] [5] In the following years, the tournament was structured into regional groups with the winners of each group participating in a playoff with the eventual winners being declared champions. From 1909 until 1921, the championship was organized as a cup with the winner being crowned as Champions of Romania, [3] [5] except for between 1916–1919, when the competition was suspended due to World War I. [6] The champions of this period were Olympia, Colentina and Venus, each with two titles, and United, Prahova and Româno-Americana, with one title each. [3] [5]

Divizia A (1921–2006)

Olympia Bucuresti, the 1909 champions. Olympia FC Bucuresti in 1909.jpg
Olympia București, the 1909 champions.

The 1921–22 season marked the first time when a league consisting of seven teams was formed. The championship, which had been confined to several regional leagues, became a national competition in 1921 with the foundation of Divizia A and Divizia B. The inaugural Divizia A season was won by Chinezul Timișoara. [7] Before the 1931–32 season, the competition was dominated by Chinezul and Venus București, with Chinezul winning six championships and Venus two championships during the eleven seasons. [3] [7] The 1932–33 season saw the rise of another successful team, Ripensia Timișoara, which alongside rivals Venus, won eight of the following nine championships, before the competition was suspended in 1940 due to World War II. [3] [7]

The post-war years were dominated by CCA București, UTA Arad and Petrolul Ploiești. The 1960s saw the gradual emergence of Dinamo București, with the help from strikers Gheorghe Ene and Florea Dumitrache—both of whom became some of Divizia A's top all-time scorers. The 1970s saw the rise of Dudu Georgescu, from Dinamo București, who was Divizia A's leading scorer for four seasons between 1974 and 1978. He scored an impressive 156 goals and won the European Golden Shoe award for the top scorer in Europe twice, in 1975 and 1977. [8] [9] Dinamo București also had two more European Golden Shoe winners in the 1986–87 season in the name of Rodion Cămătaru and in the 1988–89 season in the name of Dorin Mateuţ, with the latter being the last Romanian winner of the trophy. [8] From the 1959–60 season all the way to the 1999–2000 season all the league championships were won by only seven teams: Steaua (16 titles), Dinamo (14 titles), Universitatea Craiova (4 titles), Rapid București, FC Argeș and UTA Arad (2 titles each), and Petrolul Ploiești (one title). [3]

Dinamo București was the first Romanian team to qualify into the European Champions Cup in the 1956–57 season of the competition and Universitatea Craiova was the last team from Romania to qualify in the 1991–92 season, before the competition changed its name to the UEFA Champions League. Romanian teams qualified to 35 of the 37 seasons of the European Champions Cup, with Dinamo București having thirteen appearances, Steaua București having ten appearances, Universitatea Craiova having four appearances, Petrolul having three appearances, UTA Arad and FC Argeş having two appearances and Rapid București having one appearance. The most important results for a Romanian team in this competition were achieved by Steaua București which won the trophy in the 1985–86 season, and reached the semi-finals in the 1987–88 season and another final in the 1988–89 season. [4] Other important achievements include Universitatea Craiova which reached the quarter-finals in the 1981–82 season and Dinamo București which reached the semi-finals in the 1983–84 season. [10] [11] However, after the change of the format in 1992–93 to the current Champions League format, Romanian champions have achieved limited successes, with Steaua only reaching the group stage three times before the 21st century.

The beginning of the 2000s were dominated by teams from the capital, with Steaua, Dinamo and Rapid winning all the league titles between 2000 and 2007. [3]

Liga I (2006–present)

CFR Cluj won six championships in the new format of the Liga I. Chelsea (2) v (1) CFR Cluj.jpg
CFR Cluj won six championships in the new format of the Liga I.

At the beginning of the 2006–07 season the competition was forced to change its name from Divizia A to Liga I due to a trademark dispute over the name. [2] The change was made on 15 May 2006, and the Romanian Football Federation decided to also rename the lower leagues; thus Divizia B became Liga II, Divizia C became Liga III, and so on. [2] The 2006–07 season marked the 16th straight time a team from Bucharest won the championship, with Dinamo winning the title. Both 2007–08 and 2008–09 saw new title winners as CFR Cluj and Unirea Urziceni were crowned champions for the first time. [3] CFR Cluj won their second championship in 2009–10, while the 2010–11 saw another new winner, Oțelul Galați. Oțelul is the first and only club from the region of Moldavia to win a national title.

CFR Cluj, the 2007–08 winner became the first Romanian team to qualify directly into the 2008–09 group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and the first team other than Steaua to qualify to this stage since the beginning of the new Champions League format in 1992–93. [12] The 2009–10 champions as well as 2010–11 ones were guaranteed a direct qualification spot into the group stage as well. [13] The best results in the group stage was obtained by CFR Cluj in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League with ten points and third place in a group with Manchester United, Braga and Galatasaray.

The 2010s also brought new league winners in Liga I, with Astra Giurgiu and Viitorul Constanța clinching the titles in 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. [14]

Competition format

Starting with 2020, the Liga I has been expanded to a 16-team format. After each team plays the others twice for 30 fixtures, they are ranked by total points and then divided according to their position in order to enter either the championship play-offs or the relegation play-outs. At this stage, the points are halved in two and criteria such as goal difference, goals scored etc. are erased completely.

The six clubs which enter the championship play-offs play ten games, while the remaining ten in the relegation play-outs will only play each other once, resulting in nine fixtures. The championship play-offs winners are also crowned winners of the season's Liga I. The two lowest placed teams in the relegation play-outs are directly relegated to the Liga II, while the third-lowest plays a relegation/promotion play-off with the third-best ranked team in the second tier.

Clubs

Wins by club

Bold indicates clubs currently playing in 2020–21 Liga I. Teams in italics no longer exist. Teams in neither bold or italics are existing past winners of the championship that play in Romania's lower leagues.

ClubWinsWinning years
FCSB Competitiester.svg Competitiester.svg
26
1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1967–68, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15
Dinamo București Competitiester.svg
18
1955, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1970–71, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2006–07
Venus București
8
1919–20, 1920–21, 1928–29, 1931–32, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1939–40
UTA Arad
6
1946–47, 1947–48, 1950, 1954, 1968–69, 1969–70
Chinezul Timișoara
6
1921–22, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1926–27
CFR Cluj
6
2007–08, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
Universitatea Craiova
4
1973–74, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1990–91
Petrolul Ploiești
4
1929–30, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1965–66
Ripensia Timișoara
4
1932–33, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1937–38
Rapid București
3
1966–67, 1998–99, 2002–03
Argeș Pitești
2
1971–72, 1978–79
Prahova Ploiești
2
1911–12, 1915–16
Colentina București
2
1912–13, 1913–14
Olympia București
2
1909–10, 1910–11
Viitorul Constanța
1
2016–17
Astra Giurgiu
1
2015–16
Oțelul Galați
1
2010–11
Unirea Urziceni
1
2008–09
Club Atletic Oradea
1
1948–49
Unirea Tricolor București
1
1940–41
CSM Reșița
1
1930–31
Colțea Brașov
1
1927–28
Româno-Americană București
1
1914–15

2020–21 season

The following 16 clubs are competing in the Liga I during the 2020–21 season.

ClubPosition
in 2018–19
First season in
Liga I
Number of seasons
Liga I
First season of
current spell in
Liga I
Top division
titles
Last Liga I title
Academica Clinceni 10th2019–2012019–200n/a
Argeș Pitești 2nd in Liga II 1961–62442020–2121978–79
Astra Giurgiu 3rd1998–99172009–1012015–16
Botoșani 4th2013–1472013–140n/a
CFR Cluj 1st1947–48252004–0562019–20
Chindia Târgoviște 14th2019–2012019–200n/a
Dinamo București 13th1948–49721948–49182006–07
Gaz Metan Mediaș 6th1947–48142016–170n/a
Hermannstadt 8th2018–1922018–190n/a
Politehnica Iași 12th2012–1372014–150n/a
Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe 9th2017–1832017–180n/a
FCSB 5th1947–48731947–48262014–15
Universitatea Craiova 2nd1964-65342014–1541990–91
UTA Arad 1st in Liga II 1946–47382020–2161969–70
Viitorul Constanța 7th2012–1382012–1312016–17
Voluntari 11th2015–1662015–160n/a

Sponsorship

On 19 December 1998, SABMiller bought the naming rights for four and a half seasons, becoming the first sponsor in the history of the competition. SABMiller changed the name of the competition to "Divizia A Ursus", in order to promote their Ursus beer. [15]

Starting with the 2004–05 season, European Drinks & Foods, a Romanian $1.3 billion USD revenue company, took over as main sponsor and changed the league's name to "Divizia A Bürger", to promote their Bürger beer. [16]

On 11 May 2008, Realitatea Media bought the naming rights and changed the name of the competition to "Liga I Realitatea", to promote their Realitatea TV station. [17]

In late 2008, European Drinks & Foods again bought the rights and the league was renamed as the "Liga I Frutti Fresh", after one of their soft drinks brand. [18]

For the 2009–10 season, the online betting firm Gamebookers purchased the league naming rights and renamed the division "Liga 1 Gamebookers.com". [19]

In July 2010, Bergenbier, a StarBev Group company, bought the naming rights for four seasons and changed the name of the competition to "Liga I Bergenbier", in order to promote their Bergenbier beer. [20]

From the 2015–16 season, the French telecommunications corporation Orange became the main sponsor of the Romanian first league, after purchasing the league naming rights, for two years, and renamed the league in Liga 1 Orange. [21]

From the 2017–18 season, the international online gaming operator Betano became the main sponsor of the Romanian first league, after purchasing the league naming rights, for two years, and renamed the league in 'Liga 1 Betano'.

For the 2019–20 season, the national online gaming operator Casa Pariurilor became the main sponsor of the Romanian first league, after purchasing the league naming rights, and renamed the league in 'Casa Liga 1'.

Media coverage

In 2004, Telesport, a small TV network, bought the broadcasting rights for $28 million. The four seasons contract ended in the summer of 2008. Telesport sold some of the broadcasting rights for matches to other Romanian networks, including, TVR1, Antena 1, Național TV and Kanal D.

On 31 March 2008, Antena 1 with RCS & RDS outbid Realitatea Media and Kanal D in the broadcasting rights auction with a bid of 102 million for a three seasons contract. [22]

In 2011, the broadcasting rights were bought by RCS & RDS for their channels Digi Sport 1, Digi Sport 2 and Digi Sport 3. This channels aired broadcasting of seven of the nine matches from each stage of the championship. The other two matches were broadcast by Antena 1 (an Intact Media Group channel) and Dolce Sport (a channel owned by Telekom Romania).

In March 2014, LPF announced that the rights were sold for a five-year period to a company from the European Union, without specifying the company's name. [23] A month later, Look TV and Look Plus were revealed as the TV stations that would broadcast the games from Liga I and Cupa Ligii between 2014 and 2019. [24]

EA Sports

On 27 August 2019 Liga I signed a contract with EA Sports for the rights of the league for FIFA 20. It will be the first time Liga I is featured in a sports game.

Records

Players

Top Ten Players With Most Appearances
As of 7 August 2020 [25] [26] [27]
PlayerPeriodClubGames
1 Flag of Romania.svg Ionel Dănciulescu 1993–14 Electroputere Craiova, Dinamo, Steaua 515
2 Flag of Romania.svg Costică Ștefănescu 1968–88 Steaua, Craiova, Brașov 490
3 Flag of Romania.svg Florea Ispir 1969–88 ASA Târgu Mureș 485
4 Flag of Romania.svg László Bölöni 1971–88 ASA Târgu Mureș, Steaua 484
5 Flag of Romania.svg Costel Câmpeanu 1987–05 Bacău, Dinamo, Bistrița, Național, Ceahlăul 470
6 Flag of Romania.svg Petre Marin 1993–12 Sportul, Național, Rapid, Steaua, Urziceni, Chiajna 468
7 Flag of Romania.svg Paul Cazan 1972–88 Sportul 465
8 Flag of Romania.svg Cornel Dinu 1966–83 Dinamo 454
9 Flag of Romania.svg Constantin Stancu 1976–90 Argeș 447
10 Flag of Romania.svg Ion Dumitru 1967–88 Rapid, Steaua, Timișoara, Craiova 442
Top Ten Highest Goalscorers
As of 7 August 2020 [25] [28]
PlayerPeriodClubGoals
1 Flag of Romania.svg Dudu Georgescu 1970–87 Progresul, Reșița, Dinamo, Bacău, Buzău, Moreni 252 (Ø 0,68)
2 Flag of Romania.svg Ionel Dănciulescu 1993–14 Electroputere Craiova, Dinamo, Steaua 214 (Ø 0,41)
3 Flag of Romania.svg Rodion Cămătaru 1974–89 Craiova, Dinamo 198 (Ø 0,52)
4 Flag of Romania.svg Marin Radu 1974–89 Argeș, Olt Scornicești, Steaua, Sibiu 190 (Ø 0,49)
5 Flag of Romania.svg Florea Dumitrache 1966–83 Dinamo, Jiul, Corvinul 170 (Ø 0,47)
5 Flag of Romania.svg Ion Oblemenco 1963–77 Rapid, Craiova 170 (Ø 0,62)
7 Flag of Romania.svg Mircea Sandu 1970–87 Național, Sportul 167 (Ø 0,41)
8 Flag of Romania.svg Victor Pițurcă 1975–89 Olt Scornicești, Steaua 166 (Ø 0,55)
9 Flag of Romania.svg Mihai Adam 1962–76 U Cluj, Vagonul Arad, CFR 160 (Ø 0,45)
10 Flag of Romania.svg Titus Ozon 1947–64 Unirea Tricolor, Dinamo, Brașov, Național, Rapid 157 (Ø 0,58)
Top Ten Foreign Players With Most Appearances
As of 11 September 2020 [29]
PlayerPeriodClubGames
1 Flag of Japan.svg Takayuki Seto 2009– Astra 271
2 Flag of Portugal.svg Mario Camora 2011– CFR 270
3 Flag of Brazil.svg Júnior Morais 2010–19 Astra, FCSB 247
4 Flag of Brazil.svg Eric 2008– Gaz Metan, Pandurii, Viitorul, Voluntari 217
5 Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg Ousmane Viera 2008– CFR Cluj, Internațional, Pandurii, Sepsi, Hermannstadt 209
6 Flag of Portugal.svg Filipe Teixeira 2010–19 Brașov, Rapid, Petrolul Ploiești, Astra, FCSB 209
7 Flag of Jordan.svg Tha'er Bawab 2010–19 Gloria Bistrița, Gaz Metan, U Craiova, Steaua, Dinamo, Chiajna 207
8 Flag of Portugal.svg Ricardo Cadu 2006–14 CFR 202
9 Flag of Portugal.svg Nuno Viveiros 2008–16 Politehnica Iași, Brașov, Vaslui, U Cluj 199
10 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bojan Golubović 2011–18 Ceahlăul, Politehnica Iași, Steaua, Gaz Metan, FC Botoșani 197
Top Ten Highest Foreign Players Goalscorers
As of 7 August 2020 [30] [31]
PlayerPeriodClubGoals
1 Flag of Brazil.svg Eric 2008– Gaz Metan, Pandurii, Viitorul, Voluntari 66 (Ø 0,30)
2 Flag of Brazil.svg Wesley 2008–15 Vaslui, Politehnica Iași 64 (Ø 0,52)
3 Flag of France.svg Harlem Gnohéré 2015–20 Dinamo, FCSB 58 (Ø 0,42)
4 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bojan Golubović 2011–18 Ceahlăul, Politehnica Iași, Steaua, Gaz Metan, FC Botoșani 55 (Ø 0,27)
5 Flag of Greece.svg Pantelis Kapetanos 2008–14 Steaua, CFR 48 (Ø 0,38)
6 Flag of Nigeria.svg Kehinde Fatai 2007– Farul, Astra 43 (Ø 0,28)
7 Flag of Jordan.svg Tha'er Bawab 2010–19 Gloria Bistrița, Gaz Metan, U Craiova, Steaua, Dinamo, Chiajna 42 (Ø 0,20)
8 Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Mike Temwanjera 2006–14 Vaslui 39 (Ø 0,22)
9 Flag of Albania.svg Azdren Llullaku 2012–19 Gaz Metan, Politehnica Iași, Astra 37 (Ø 0,25)
10 Flag of Albania.svg Sulejman Demollari 1991–95 Dinamo 36 (Ø 0,36)
Top Ten Youngest Debutants
As of 7 August 2020. The teams written in bold are the ones the players debuted at [32] [33] [34] [35] [36]
PlayerAgeMatchSeason
1 Flag of Romania.svg Nicolae Dobrin 14 years, 10 months and 5 days Știința Cluj - Dinamo Pitești 5–1 1961–62
2 Flag of Romania.svg Rareș Lazăr 15 years, one month and 19 days Ceahlăul Piatra Neamț - FC Vaslui 2–0 2013–14
3 Flag of Romania.svg Răzvan Popa 15 years, 2 months and 13 days Dinamo - Sportul Studențesc 1–3 2011–12
4 Flag of Romania.svg Codrin Epure 15 years, 2 months and 21 days FC Vaslui - Astra 1–4 2013–14
5 Flag of Romania.svg Vasile Chitaru 15 years, 4 months and 14 days SC Bacău - Jiul Petroșani 3–0 1973–74
6 Flag of Romania.svg Marius Niculae 15 years, 6 months and 6 days Dinamo - Farul Constanța 5–2 1996–97
7 Flag of Romania.svg Ion Geolgău 15 years, 8 months and 18 days Universitatea Craiova - UTA 3–1 1976–77
8 Flag of Romania.svg Constantin Gângioveanu 15 years, 8 months and 21 days Dinamo - Universitatea Craiova 5–0 2004–05
9 Flag of Romania.svg Roberto Hașnaș 15 years, 9 months and 21 days SR Brașov - Gloria Bistrița 4–1 2012–13
10 Flag of Romania.svg Marian Drăghiceanu 15 years, 10 months and 10 days Oțelul Galați - Ceahlăul Piatra Neamț 4–1 2014–15

Managers

Top Ten Managers With Most Appearances
As of 7 August 2020 [37]
ManagerPeriodMatchesVictoriesDrawsLossesVictory percentage
1 Flag of Romania.svg Florin Halagian 1972–1187843217627059%
2 Flag of Romania.svg Ilie Oană 1952–7957223212421651%
3 Flag of Romania.svg Nicolae Dumitru 1962–9355825012018855%
4 Flag of Romania.svg Ion V. Ionescu 1967–944961948921348%
5 Flag of Romania.svg Viorel Hizo 1990–134882218518253%
6 Flag of Romania.svg Ioan Andone 1994–174562078016945%
7 Flag of Romania.svg Valentin Stănescu 1962–8445520610114856%
8 Flag of Romania.svg Sorin Cârțu 1989–1345417511416551%
9 Flag of Romania.svg Angelo Niculescu 1953–8244519610114855%
10 Flag of Romania.svg Constantin Cârstea 1985–094281706918947%

International competitions

See also

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