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A football season gives every team in a league the opportunity to play every other team in that league at least once. What a lot of people don’t know is how many games there are in a whole soccer season.

In this article you will discover the answer to this question not just for one league but for the top 10 leagues from around the world including the MLS, the English Premier League and La Liga in Spain.

The number of games

The reality is that there is no single correct answer to this question as the answer depends on which soccer league from around the world the question is related to. Different leagues play different numbers of games in a season.

To answer your question, I have listed the number of games played in a season for each of the 10 most popular leagues in the world in the table below.

The number of games played in a football season:

SOCCER LEAGUE
NUMBER OF GAMES IN A SEASON

Major League Soccer (MLS) – United States
34

Primeira Liga – Portugal
34

Dutch Eredivisie -Netherlands
34

Argentine Super League – Argentina
23

Brasileirao – Brazil
38

Ligue 1 – France
38

Serie A – Italy
38

Bundesliga – Germany
34

English Premier League – England
38

La Liga – Spain
38

Number of games in a soccer season for the top 10 soccer leagues

In a second we will look at the details of a season for each of these leagues, but as you can see from the table above, with the exception of Argentina’s Super League, which only plays 23 games in a season, most of the most popular play Soccer leagues in the world either 34 or 38 games in a season.

If you want to find out how a high school football season works and when it starts, this article from me will tell you everything you need to know.

How the number of games is determined

The number of games played in a season depends on two things.

  1. The competition format
  2. The number of teams in each league

Competition format

By far the most popular and used competitive format in any football league is the double-round tournament.

In this format, each team in the league plays every other team twice. The first match between the two teams will be played at one team’s home stadium and the second match at the other team’s home stadium.

The idea behind playing an opponent both “home” and “away” is that it gives each team a fair chance of winning the game.

It has long been the case that teams have a much better win record when playing with “home advantage”. When they play at their own stadium, they play in a familiar place and have the support of the majority of the fans in the stadium.

An example of this is that in January 2020, Spanish side Barcelona played 35 UEFA Champions League games at their home stadium, the Camp Nou, without losing a single one.

To allow both teams to play against each other with home advantage, the results at the end of the season are much fairer.

Barcelona player Lionel Messi had a huge impact on the unbeaten run. He’s one of the greatest players to ever play football, but not many people are aware of his impressive disciplinary record. Do you know how few red cards he has received in his career? If not, click here to jump to an article I wrote about it and find out!

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Number of teams

Once you know the format of a competition, all you have to do is calculate the number of games that will be played by considering the number of teams participating in that league in a given season.

For example, if a league has 22 teams participating each season and the league uses a double-round format where each team plays each other twice, then each team will play 42 games.

This is because each team plays each of the other 21 teams “home” and each of the other 21 teams “away”.

21 games +21 games = 42 games in one season

The games of the season in each league in detail

Now that we know how the number of games played is calculated, let’s look at the seasons of the most popular football leagues in detail, starting with the MLS.

Major League Soccer (MLS)

Total number of teams: 18

Competition Format: Double Round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 34

Total number of games played by all teams throughout the season: 612

In MLS, each team plays 34 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams in total and the league follows a double round-robin format.

All these games combined (18 teams playing 34 games each) mean that there are a total of 612 games played during an entire MLS season.

The MLS season runs from March to December each year.

Primeira Liga – Portugal

Total number of teams: 18

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 34

Total number of games played by all teams throughout the season: 612

In the Primeira Liga in Portugal, each team plays 34 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams in total and the league follows a double-round format.

Taking all these games together (18 teams playing 34 games each) means that there are a total of 612 games played during an entire Primeira Liga season.

The Primeira Liga season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

Dutch Eredivisie – Netherlands

Total number of teams: 18

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 34

Total number of games played by all teams over the entire season: 612

In the Dutch Eredivisie, each team plays 34 games in a season. This is because there are a total of 18 teams participating and the league follows a double round robin format.

Taking all these games together (18 teams playing 34 games each) means that there are a total of 612 games played during an entire Dutch Eredivisie season.

The Eredivisie season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

Argentine Super League

Total number of teams: 18

Competition Format: Simple round-robin

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 34

Total number of games played by all teams throughout the season: 612

In the Argentine Superliga, known as Argentina’s Primera División before 2017, each team plays 23 games in a season. This is because there are a total of 24 teams taking part and the league follows a simple round system.

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All these games combined (24 teams playing 23 games each) means that there are a total of 552 games in an entire Argentine Super League season.

The Argentine Super League is unique among the top 10 most popular leagues in that teams only play each other team once, either home or away.

The Argentine Super League runs from June to December each year.

Brasileirão

Total number of teams: 20

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 38

The total number of games played by all teams throughout the season: 760

In the Brasileirão, each team plays 38 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams taking part and the league follows a double-round format.

Taking all these games together (20 teams playing 38 games each) means that there are a total of 760 games played during an entire Brasileirão season.

The Brasileirão season runs from May to December each year.

Ligue 1 – France

Total number of teams: 20

Competition Format: Double Round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 38

Total number of games played by all teams throughout the season: 760

In Ligue 1 in France, each team plays 38 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams in total and the league follows a double-round format.

All these games combined (20 teams playing 38 games each) means there are a total of 760 games played in an entire Ligue 1 season.

The Ligue 1 season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

Serie A – Italy

Total number of teams: 20

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 38

Total number of games played by all teams over the entire season: 760

In Serie A in Italy, each team plays 38 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams in total and the league follows a double-round format.

All these games combined (20 teams playing 38 games each) means there are a total of 760 games played in an entire Serie A season.

The Serie A season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

Bundesliga – Germany

Total number of teams: 18

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 34

Total number of games played by all teams over the entire season: 612

In the German Bundesliga, each team plays 34 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams in total and the league plays a double round.

All these games combined (18 teams play 34 games each) mean that there are a total of 612 games in an entire Bundesliga season.

The Bundesliga season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

English Premier League – England

Total number of teams: 20

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 38

The total number of games played by all teams throughout the season: 760

In the English Premier League, each team plays 38 games in a season. This is because there are 18 teams in total and the league follows a double round robin format.

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Taking all these games together (20 teams playing 38 games each) means there are a total of 760 games played in an entire English Premier League season.

The English Premier League season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

La Liga – Spain

Total number of teams: 20

Competition format: double round

Total number of games played by each team in a season: 38

Total number of games played by all teams over the entire season: 760

In La Liga in Spain, each team plays 38 games in a season. This is because there are a total of 18 teams taking part and the league follows a double-round format.

Taking all these games together (20 teams playing 38 games each) means that there are a total of 760 games played during an entire La Liga season.

The La Liga season runs from August of one year to May of the following year.

In every football game during a season, there are certain pieces of equipment that are always used. To find out what those are, click here to go to an article I wrote describing the 15 pieces of gear.

To really better understand the rules of soccer and appreciate what makes it such a great game, take a look at this article I wrote that explains the rules of soccer in an easy to follow guide.

Or just skip to the next article – Does Soccer Have Timeouts? – Click here


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