Football is a sport that unites people from all over the world, regardless of race, gender, or nationality. Fans live and breathe football, and the game is as much a part of their lives as their families and friends. Football is not just a sport, but a way of life. In Azerbaijan, football is no different, and the Premier Liqa is the top football league in the country.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the Premier Liqa, exploring its history, teams, players, and everything in between. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just getting into the sport, this guide is for you.
History of Premier Liqa
The Premier Liqa, also known as the Topaz Premier Liqa due to sponsorship reasons, was established in 2007. It replaced the Azerbaijan Premier League as the top football league in the country. The league has undergone several changes since its inception, including changes to its name, format, and number of teams.
The current format of the league consists of 8 teams, and each team plays 28 matches. The team with the most points at the end of the season has crowned the champion and qualifies for the UEFA Champions League. The teams that finish in second and third place qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
Teams of Premier Liqa
The Premier Liqa consists of 8 teams, each with its own unique history and identity. Let’s take a closer look at each team:
- Neftchi Baku: The most successful team in the history of Azerbaijan football, with 8 Premier Liqa titles to their name.
- Qarabag: One of the most popular teams in the league, Qarabag has won the Premier Liqa title 6 times.
- Gabala: Based in the city of Gabala, this team has been a consistent performer in the league, finishing in the top 3 on several occasions.
- Zira: Established in 2014, Zira is one of the newer teams in the league. They have quickly established themselves as a competitive team, finishing in the top 4 in the last 3 seasons.
- Sumgayit: Another new team in the league, Sumgayit was established in 2014. They have steadily improved each season, finishing in 5th place last season.
- Keshla: Formerly known as Inter Baku, Keshla has a rich history in Azerbaijan football. They won the Premier Liqa title in the 2008/2009 season.
- Sabah: One of the newest teams in the league, Sabah was established in 2016. They have quickly made a name for themselves, finishing in 4th place in their debut season.
- Səbail: Established in 2016, Səbail is the newest team in the league. They finished in 7th place in their debut season.
Players of Premier Liqa
The Premier Liqa has been home to many talented players over the years. Some of the current standout players in the league include:
- Rauf Aliyev (Neftchi Baku): A versatile midfielder who has been a consistent performer for Neftchi Baku.
- Maksim Medvedev (Qarabag): A solid defender who has been a key player for Qarabag for several seasons.
- Aleksandr Antonik (Gabala): A Ukrainian defender who is known for his physicality and ability to read the game.
- Tamkin Khalilzadeh (Zira): A skillful midfielder who is known for his dribbling and ability to create chances for his team.
- Vuqar Mustafayev (Sumgayit): A young forward who has been a standout player for Sumgayit, scoring 9 goals in the 2021-2022 season.
- Ricardinho (Keshla): A Brazilian attacking midfielder who is known for his speed and technical ability on the ball.
- Abdulkarim Hassan (Sabah): A Qatari left-back who is known for his pace and defensive ability.
- Abdullahi Shehu (Səbail): A Nigerian midfielder who is known for his versatility and work rate.
Premier Liqa’s Impact on Azerbaijan Football
The Premier Liqa has had a significant impact on football in Azerbaijan since its establishment. The league has helped to improve the quality of football in the country and has provided a platform for local players to showcase their talent.
In addition, the success of Azerbaijani teams in European competitions, such as Qarabag’s historic run to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in the 2017/2018 season, has helped to raise the profile of Azerbaijan football on the international stage.
- When does the Premier Liqa season start and end?
The Premier Liqa season usually starts in August and ends in May.
- How many teams are in the Premier Liqa?
There are 8 teams in the Premier Liqa.
- Which team has won the most Premier Liqa titles?
Neftchi Baku has won the most Premier Liqa titles, with 8 titles to their name.
- How do teams qualify for European competitions?
The team that finishes in first place qualifies for the UEFA Champions League, while the teams that finish in second and third place qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
- Who are some of the best players in the Premier Liqa?
Some of the current standout players in the league include Rauf Aliyev, Maksim Medvedev, Aleksandr Antonik, Tamkin Khalilzadeh, Vuqar Mustafayev, Ricardinho, Abdulkarim Hassan, and Abdullahi Shehu.
The Premier Liqa is the top football league in Azerbaijan and has had a significant impact on football in the country since its establishment. With 8 competitive teams and many talented players, the league offers fans an exciting and entertaining football experience. Whether you’re a local fan or an international spectator, the Premier Liqa is a league worth following.