Soccer Writer's Style Guide

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North America's first and only soccer-specific style guide

Foreign leagues

Identify a leagues’ country if the copy doesn’t make it obvious, especially when writing about leagues in Spanish -speaking countries as many use the term Primera División.

Avoid writing the league’s corporate sponsor (such as the Barclays Premier League).

Freely use terms such as top flight, first division, top tier, second tier, third division, etc., especially when writing about lesser-known leagues.

Argentina: Primera División

  • Each year the league holds two tournaments: the Apertura (opening) from August to December and the Clausura (closing) from February to June.

Australia: A-League

Austria: Budesliga

Belgium: Jupiler League

  • Jupiler is a corporate sponsor; however, the league is widely known by this name.

Bolivia: Liga Profesional

Brazil: Campeonato

Chile: Primera División

  • Follows the Apertura (January-June)/Clausura (July-December) format.

Colombia: Fútbol Profesional

Costa Rica: Primera División

Denmark: Superliga

El Salvador: Primera División

Ecuador: Primera A

England (top tier): Premier League

  • EPL is acceptable on second reference, and in blurbs and captions.

England (second tier): Championship

  • When writing about divisions below the Championship, simply use the terms third tier, fourth tier and so on.

Greece: Super League

Paraguay: Primera División

Portugal: Liga

France: Ligue 1

Germany (top tier): Bundesliga

Germany (second tier): 2. Bundesliga

Norway: Eliteserien

Holland: Eredivisie

Italy (top tier): Serie A

Italy (second tier): Serie B

Japan: J-League

Korea: K-League

Mexico (top tier): Primera División

  • Follows the Apertura (August-December)/Clausura (January-May) format.
  • The postseason is called the liguilla.

Mexico (second tier): Liga de Ascenso

Russia: Premier League

Scotland: Premier League

  • Usually identified as the Scottish Premier League to avoid mistaking for the English league.
  • SPL is acceptable on second reference, and in blurbs and captions.

Spain (top tier): La Liga

Spain (second tier): Segunda División

Sweden: Allsvenskan

Switzerland: Super League

Turkey: Süper Lig

Uruguay: Primera División

Venezuela: Primera División

See also: Domestic leagues, International federations, International tournaments

Filed under: Foreign leagues