Here's your pocket guide to the 2020-2021 LaLiga season as Europe's best football league explodes back to life this weekend.
Before we get to all the essential information, run your eye over the next generation of stars ready to take the league by storm.
Here's how the teams shape up:
The Big Two:
According to Deloitte's 2020 Money League, LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid were the highest-earning football clubs in Europe for the 2018-2019 season, raking in $840m and $757m respectively. Barcelona became the first club to top the $800m barrier.
Financial muscle combined with iconic stadia, glamour players and global supporter bases make the El Clasico rivals the high watermark in what UEFA ranks as the best football league in Europe.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane again faces the same question that plagues him every season: how will he fit all the pieces together? With the likes of Fede Valverde, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicus all a season older, plus the return of Martin Odegaard from a successful loan at Real Sociedad, a fit Eden Hazard and a motivated Isco, and the manager may have a tougher time of answering it this season.
Strange to say given Madrid won LaLiga last year, but the Gareth Bale-sized shadow that hangs over the team, or rather, its bench, threatens to again create a sideshow to the exciting transition going on on the pitch. With the likes of Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luca Modric all still holding their own among Europe's elite Madrid will again be the team to beat.
With Quique Setien shown the door, Lionel Messi attempting to follow him before reluctantly back-flipping and fans pushing for embattled president Josep Bartomeu to go too, it's been an off-season from hell for the Blaugrana.
Uncertainty over how Antoine Griezmann fits into the team, whether Luis Suarez is wanted by the team and just who incoming manager Ronald Koeman is adding to the team, all lends to the sense of disarray clouding last season's dethroned champion. Right now Barca seems like a tale of three types of player: the ageing stars, the under-performing 20-somethings, and the highly-rated teenagers.
The Dutchman's biggest challenge will be assembling all the parts into a cohesive, winning unit, capable of doing it without Messi, whose eventual departure seems inevitable.
The Small two:
Part of the charm of European football is a system that can pit a minnow up against a giant and in LaLiga this season, there are two of the smallest teams going around on the continent.
Celebrating just its second ever promotion to LaLiga, SD Huesca is the 'David' to Barcelona's 'Goliath', with its 'renovated' ground, El Alcoraz, holding a capacity of just 7,638 people - the smallest for a professional club in Europe.
Strange History: The current version of Los de la cruz de San Jorge play in the colours of Barcelona - a nod to the Huesca-based Barcelona fans who founded the club in the 1960s so they could watch a team.
Representing a town with a population of just 27,000 people - Barcelona has 206-times that many - Eibar is officially the smallest club in LaLiga, but to say 'The Gunsmiths' punch above their weight would be a ridiculous understatement.
Since achieving promotion for the first time in 2014-2015 and reinstatement to the top flight the following season after finishing 18th, Eibar has finished 14th, 10th, ninth, 12th and 14th.
Astute signings, a charming boutique stadium and a unique style - Eibar presses high defensively, before launching vertical, attacking balls into the forward-line, rather than knocking it about in possession - make the Gunsmiths compulsory viewing.
The race for third:
With recent history as a guide, any one of these teams could make a push for the top two, but the consistency that is a hallmark of Real Madrid and Barcelona seems to elude even the most stacked of challengers.
With an average age of 24.5, 'The Royal' boasted the youngest squad in LaLiga last season. The kids were alright though, piloting Immanol Alguacil's team to sixth-place. This season the likes of 20 year-old attacking sensation Alexander Isak and gun academy products Ander Guevara, Aihen Munoz and Ander Barrenetxea are joined by veteran playmaker David Silva in an attacking line-up that will give UEFA Champions League qualification a nudge.
If Atleti can start the way it resumed last season post COVID-19 break, it may actually achieve what many predicted this time last year - albeit 12 months later - and claim the title. With strength in depth across the park, the continued development of Portuguese starlet Joao Felix, the emergence of three young star strikers from the youth set-up, Marcos Llorente's irresistible form and no changes to the second-best defence in the league last season, this could finally be Atleti's year.
The arrivals of Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin from Valencia, together with Take Kubo on loan from Real Madrid, have lent the 'Yellow Submarine' an air of excitement this season. But the biggest signing the club has made is former Arsenal, PSG and Sevilla manager Unai Emery, who'll be tasked with improving the club on its fifth placing last season.
Ivan Rakitic returns to a tactically malleable Sevilla side which would fancy its chances of cracking the top two this season, let alone the four. Suso and Oscar Rodriguez from AC Milan and Real Madrid respectively are shrewd additions to a Sevilla midfield already overflowing with talent. Julen Lopetegui may just be the manager to knit it all together and crack the Barca-Madrid monopoly on the top spots.
It's a big season for:
Celta narrowly avoided relegation last season in what would have been a catastrophe for a club stacked with as much talent as it is. From diminutive striker Iago Aspas, to experienced campaigners Nolito and Denis Suarez, and rising stars Fran Beltran and Santi Mina, the Sky Blues should be challenging for the Europa League places at the very least.
Like Celta, Betis is another team brimming with too many big names to be anywhere near the same postcode as the relegation zone, but the Seville club finished 15th last season on the back of five losses from its last eight matches under interim manager Alexis Trujillo. Now former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is in the hot seat and, like with the Premier League club he guided to the title, his greatest chellenge will be getting the star players to gel. If he can achieve that, Betis could be anything.
Huesca, Elche, Cadiz
Survival will be front of mind for the three promoted teams as they attempt to guarantee more than just a cameo in the top flight. In a season where home ground advantage will be nullified by the absence of fans, the task of staying up is arguably harder than ever. But, as with the stunning relegation of Espanyol last season and the near misses of Celta and Betis, this may work in the new boys' favour too. Either way, fascinating viewing ahead for fans.
The dark horses
Granada sealed a remarkable return to LaLiga last season by qualifying for this year's Europa League play-off rounds. Should Diego Martinez's men make it to the main draw, their depth will be tested. The retention of French midfielder Maxime Gonalons, together with the loan extensions of Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo and Machester City midfielder Yangel Herrara, plus the arrivals of club record signing Luis Milla and Chelsea midfielder Kenedy on loan, all have Granada poised for another charge at the European qualifying places.
Want a cool LaLiga team to support, away from the bright lights of the 'big two'? Look no further than Valladolid - the (Brazilian) Ronaldo majority-owned club where former Adelaide United striker Sergi Guardiola leqds the line. Valladolid has made some shrewd signings - Chile veteran Fabian Orellana - to complement its fleet of young stars. Pressure is on Sergio Gonzalez's team to improve on its 13th-placing last season.
The frogs enjoyed their best finish in three years last season, emerging from perennial relegation scrappers to a slightly-more respectable 12th. With neighbouring Valencia charging headlong into a rebuild, Levante may well consider this its chance to emerge from the considerable shadow cast by Los Che. From Coke to Oscar Duarte, the team is peppered with star players, and knitting it all together is inspirational striker and captain Jose Luis Morales.
The strange nicknames:
LaLiga is full of cool nicknames, despite the absence of relegated Leganes, fondly known as Los Pepineros, or, the Cucumbers.
Here are some of the best this season:
Atletico Madrid - The Mattress Makers
Atleti earned the moniker 'Los Colchoneros' because its kit resembled the pattern on old Spanish mattresses
Alaves - Babazorros
According to the club, in Basque language 'Baba' translates to fava beans and 'Zorro' to sack. Combined, the term refers to the inhabitants of Alaves as fava bean-eaters.
Eibar - The Gunsmiths
Eibar is known as Los Armeros due to the towns links with the iron and metal factories of the industrial north. Eibar played a key role in the production and supply of firearms in wartime eras.
Levante - The Frogs
Levante may have a bat on its crest, but its nickname 'granotas' dates back to the merger between Levante FC and Gimnastico FC in 1939. Levante brought the players, Gimnastico brought the stadium - Estadio de Vallejo. The latter's close proximity to a frog-filled river gave birth to the nickname.
Sevilla - The Wash Basins
Sevillistas are known as 'Palaganas', or washbasins. How this bizarre moniker came about remains a bit of a mystery, but two possible origins are the home ground's resemblance to a washbasin, or the club's red and white colours mirroring that of an old Spanish washbasin.
Villarreal and Cadiz - The Yellow Submarine
A cursory glance at both clubs' playing strips tells you everything you need to know about this nickname.
Real Madrid - The Vikings
The origins of this one are murky, but many speculate it was borne during the presidential reign of Santiago Bernabeu in the 1970s. Bernabeu's preference for tall, white European players, such as Uli Stielike, Henning Jensen and Paul Brietner is said to have been a contributor to the 'vikings' moniker.
LaLiga in numbers
Combined number of titles won be Real Madrid (34) and Barcelona (26)
Number of years since a team other than Real MAdrid or Barcelona won the title - Atletico Madrid in 2013-2014
The age of Englishman Harry Lowe when he became the oldest player to make his LaLiga debut, in 1934-1935
Capacity at Barcelona's fortress Camp Nou. Huesca's El Alcoraz holds only 7,638 by comparison.
Number of times Athletic Club has been relegated from LaLiga.
The age of Mulleted Mallorca teen Luka Romero when he became the youngest plaer to debut in LaLiga, last season.
Number of clubs that have won LaLiga in its history
Record for most goals scored in a season, set by Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid in 2011-2012
Record number of goals scored in a season by a single player, Lionel Messi in 2011-2012
Record for most goals scored from penalties, held by Cristiano Ronaldo
Record number of assists, provided by Lionel Messi