Belgian First Division
The Belgian Pro League (officially known as Jupiler Pro League ]) is the top league competition for association football clubs in Belgium. Contested by 16 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Belgian Second Division. Seasons run from late July to early May, with teams playing 30 matches each in the regular season, and then entering play-offs 1, play-offs 2 or the relegation play-off according to their position in the regular season. Play-offs 1 are contested by the top 6 clubs in the regular season, with each club playing each other twice. Play-offs 2 are contested by teams ranked 7 to 14 in the regular season, divided in two groups of 4 teams playing each other twice. The relegation play-off consists of 5 matches between the 15th and the 16th-placed team in the regular season. The league is sponsored by AB InBev, the brewers of the Jupiler beer, and is therefore officially known as Jupiler Pro League.
The competition was created in 1895 by the Royal Belgian Football Association and was first won by FC Liégeois. Of the 74 clubs to have competed in the first division since its creation, 15 have been crowned champions of Belgium. RSC Anderlecht is the most successful league club with 31 titles, followed by Club Brugge KV (13), Union Saint-Gilloise (11) and Standard Liège (10). It is currently ranked 10th in the UEFA rankings of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five-years. The competition was ranked 3rd when the UEFA first published their ranking in 1979 and also the next year in 1980, which is the best ranking the Belgian First Division has ever achieved.
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