Worlds Most Popular Sports
SportWorldListsMost Popular Sports by Fans
We all have our favorite sports, but which sports are the most popular around the world? The problem is coming up with a clear defining meaning for popular - by popular do we mean most watched, the most played, or the sport with the most passionate fans!
Soccer is clearly the most popular sport in terms of fans. The FIFA World Cup held every four years has a huge TV audience - over 30 billion people watched the 2006 World Cup in Germany (I know thats more than the worlds population, this figure is an accumulated audience, meaning if people watched more than one game, which most people did, they were counted each time).
The list below was found online and no source for the fan numbers has been found, though I generally agree with the sports on the list. Field hockey is widely played, though Im not sure it should be ranked so high. Not everyone agrees with the list, you can see quite a heated discussion in the comments below.
note: this list is found in various forms online, though the original source of the fan numbers is unknown.
On the same website, there are top sports lists for each country, based on the estimated number of fans using a very interesting method to measure popularity. The lists are based on the results of website visitor traffic analysis (using the Alexa traffic rank) of over 300 sports websites, which reflect which sports the internet users in the particular country are most interested in. Regional popularity gives an insight into where the fan base is located around the world. See also a list based on a similar principle - website traffic tosports pages on WikipediaandGoogle Search Sports Terms.
Commenting is not active on this page, though some may be added. You can read some of the interesting previous comments below.
If you travel outside of North America, you would see the love and passion for sports in places like Italy, Spain and Europe in general. Not surprising that Americans think they are number 1 in yet another aspect of their country. Just so you know, the Toronto Maple Leafs have a big fan base and the most expensive ticket and oh yeah! The Toronto Blue Jays won back to back and to forget the Toronto Raptors won the NBA. Id say a bit ahead of any American team. The Toronto Argonauts have won as well. Just sayin! (from Steve Tom, Jan 2022)
This is so fake, basketball is not 9th place! First of all, cricket is NOT that famous and BARELY anyone watches field hockey. (
I really disagree with this list. It makes sense that the first two are football/soccer, and cricket. But after that, there is now way it is hockey!
1. Basketball is also extremely popular in Europe too. So I think it shouldnt be ninth.
3. Table Tennis is not half as popular as they say.
4. Baseball is only popular in USA so it isnt 7th.
5. Rugby is a sport that is played everywhere, so that should be on the list.
Who made this list? Are you serious? (from Person, 2016)
Baseball is popular in Columbia, Mexico, North America, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the Carribean, from Justin (2016)
For a start its football and not soccer. The answer is in the name (you use your feet to kick a ball). American football should be called handball with a safety suit. Of course football dominates! The only place that doesnt get it is white America who think that World Series and Super Bowls actually mean something. They are just training wheels for real sports... for adults! I look at american professional sports in the same way that their patrons will view WWE. Not surprised cricket was second even though Im not a big fan myself. Basketball is something you want to play but not watch. Its pointless when half the players are bigger than the net. At its roots it was never meant to be played by giants. Their should be a team height restriction of 30 foot. Rubbish spectator sport. Field hockey is also rubbish but solidifies the British dominance over world sport. Enough said. Get over it or go have a cry. (James Spank (2014))
Agreed! Im American but I hate living here and forced fed to watch baseball, golf, car races, NFL and etc all above soccer??!!!! Absolutely ridiculous! They play all those lazy American sports on TV and barely any soccer. And even now during World Cup, Golf and Basketball still dominates on TV @$%@$%@@!!!!Phillip (2014)
You can take yourself to europe south america or wherever...I dont like illegal immigrants...but I hate americans who talk about our own country...so I will publicly announce I will buy you a 1 way ticket anywhere you want in the world & all you have to do is hand over your passport & publicly renounce your citizenship...Dumb american (2014)
Boo hoo hoo... Cry me a river... Stop with the soccer, thats the real football... Over 200 countries call it by the real name... And you have this boring, slow, over hyped sport called american football because the ball is 1 ft long... And 99% of the Americans dont know thatAmerica (2014)
so out of your 200 countries that no one here cares about, explain why the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are the highest paid teams in the world? Also tell me how out of the top 25 highest paid athletes 19 are either American Football players or MLB players.... hmmm sounds like out of all you soccer fans who live in huts would like watching under dressed men kick a poor mans soccer ball around then complain about America? At the least have respect for a sport like American football that has men that can bench press the whole Manchester United team while they are running faster then half they could dream of.
Football still the number one sport in the world. And I mean real football not hand ball or whatever you call it. By the way I dont know why you said Yankees n Dodgers are top paid. Forbes says Real Madrid & Manchester United are the worlds richest sports teams.
Wanna no why its because eating all that McDonalds is making your American brain fatter than it already is. If you wanna go explain why everyone in America is fat you have children who weigh 200 pounds and by the way about your brains are so messed up from obesity that u are only capable of speaking one language
Real Madrid and Barcelona, then comes Man Utd. Then come the Yankees and the Cowboys.Skye Jeffrey john doe (2014)
Man Utd are the most popular team in the world and have more than double barcelona and real madrids fans put together, just saying. And im a Liverpool fan.
Things have changed. Now Barça & RM have 600 M fans each worldwide, and ManU 700 M. On social networks both Barça and Madrid lead by far, with more than 170M followers each, while ManU have slightly more than 100 M. Almost 1 out of each 2 football fans in the world is fan of one that three teams. Out of that three, the most rapidly growing fandom is Barças one, perhaps it will overcome ManU in of fans in a couple of years. Quality of play and successes over last years pay dividend.
dude great comeback and so so true... these puny Americans criticize other people for talking more than one language and will criticize you if you dont speak english like them.. WTFMicah (2019)
Your just salty on how great America is and how great our sports are and the only reason baseball isnt as popular is because the world thinks its to hard to play and Gomes up like the losers they are while America, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico are actuly athletes and dominate at the hardest sport in the world 1
Americans think no further then their shores of the states. and borders. remember they are the greatestBUT only in their minds, i say. They sure are dragging in the mud now spring into summer, 2020 Im Canadian. Trumps bragging they are greatest makes me sick. its hard living next door when you hear how much hes missing his golf. he misses his other sports to watch too, but not football/ soccer, its HIS football, a contact, ruff and tumble so called sport. yes i agree football in the real world is best and our canadian games is doing pretty darn good too. we as canadians must look east or west and stop looking south to become a better country..
Soccer is the easiest game on the planet thats why every child in the US plays it (from Trap God Zac (2019))
lol. We blow countries up for sport. Thats our real sport. Quit getting so hurt over sports when Im sure weve given you something to actually be hurt about. (Me Carlos Acosta (2015))
way to turn a sports debate into an international war. the u.s is all about wars. they even fought and killed each other, thats how much warmongers you lot are.Frank (2017)
We had one civil war which was mainly over the right or should say wrong about slaves. The American people do not want wars but the government and many power brokers do. Plus the power brokers create enemies to justify bloated miltary spending which is more than the next 11 nations combined and still say that is not enough. Most times we get lied into wars or create exaggerated threats. In the 19th century we had British deserters and then complains sand created an enemy by lies. In the early 20th century in WW 1 we live with the help of the British about the Lusitania which clearly contained munitions and helped turn American public against Germany by a lie. We lied to go into Vietnam. We lied we would not expand NATO to the East. Obama and Merkel organized a coup of an elected government in Ukraine because they were Putins puppet and not our puppet and then blame. Putin for agressiom. We start a war in Syria and crated ISIS maybe by accident and then lie again about Putin. We lie that Putin riggs elections in Russia and complain. if not lie about Russian influence in elections when the US has influenced and in some cases rigged more elections than any nation in world history including the 1996 Russian Presidential elections. About the only time our country told the truth was about the atrocities of Hitler and we cried. Wolf so many times people first did not believe it. There are a lot of great things about America but many times our foreign policy is fairly pathetic.
We saved you in world war 2 so dont call us fat, most of us arent anywaysRicardo (2016)
You didnt save much, Russians won that war they had the most casualties and they won the most battles. Anyone with a little bit of History Sense on World War II would know that personally I dont know that about Americans though.
you never saved anyone,you only came along when pearl harbour got destroyed,jeez you couldnt even win vietnam with all that massive american firepower against an army of families of rice pickers who outwitted your every move,saying that you are the only country to use nuclear weapons,if thats something you wanna be proud of then batter on
Right, your country was just hiding in shelters biding its time to make its big move...maybe Churchill pleaded with us to get in the war because he was loney? I respect the U.K. for making their stand but you need to respect some history. And we could have won Vietnam if we were monsters. Shouldnt have been there in the first place but if anyone knows a thing or two about that its the fossil that is England.
Why dont we end this argument, all you football fans need to start enjoying the art of soccer, aka futbol. Soccer has the highest paid players in the world, the most talented people on the world, and even the hardest working players in the world. For example, Messi had a hormone degenerative disease that made him grow at an astoundingly low rate, but that sure as hell didnt stop him. Why dont you cavemen go back in your caves and come out when you realize what sport is actually the best; Soccer!
Soccer isnt that easy it requires overall stamina balance agility and speed something American Football and Baseball dont have.
American football STILL 1 in America got a point about America not playing soccer BUT some do anyways why would anybody just kick a ball in a goal like WTF.
lol this guys said u need to respect history...thats why america only stepped in at the end when most of the armies are dead low on supplies and all about to give in and then they step in at the end with least effort to say we won the war and set rules for other countries get outa here u guys welll know germany would eat america head on
Alexander the Great would be proud of those tactics so how can you blame them and I am a Brit.
But seriously when the US do get into wars at the sharp end aka Vietnam and Afghanistan things do not go well for them.
The problem for the US is that wars which they join late have the ground rules in place so the troops can fight without the stupid handcuffs locked on by Congress, wars they start or get involved with at the start they usually have an idiotic President and Congress running the show. I am ex Royal Navy and had two stints on US ships. The one thing I can say is they are just as professional as we are, if I have a negative thing to say its that they dont have anything decent to drink and our beer ration was not allowed on secondment, however I did get to catch up whilst back on board my own ship.On the reverse when they came aboard my ship on secondment they didnt have a ration but we made sure they didnt go without often with the permission of the Master at Arms and a donation from the Captains locker, after all we only got 3 cans so not enough to share.
im 100% positive Germany isnt a super power. there is only one Super Power and you aint part of it.
Mr. I dont care. Pedro Skirving (2016)
Oh my god. Are you stupid? We came when churchill asked, then we sent EXTRA when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, then later we tried to save South Vietnam, and there rice pickers Which are called farmers, but WE realized its their problem, and we are done fighting against the Viet Cong. Dont criticize Americans. We will beat you up, and spit you out. Not all Americans are like that, we are just protective of OUR freedom. And Carlos, srsly? Dont disrespect America. America is a superpower in technology, get your facts straight, or get out.
By the time you had planned to invade north France, the soviets where at the gates of Warsaw. The Americans didnt even have huge losses such as the British and the Soviet Union, hell even the British raj made sure they dont break into Burma with basic equipment
How did the Fench make out in Vietnam remember in the late 70s when China attacked Vietnam when the Vietnamese had a falling out with the extreme tyranical Khmer Rouge and Chj a said they were going to teach Vietnam as lessons and China within. a few weeks withdrew because they were the ones being taught a lesson
you said it sir, truth be told. united states= of= America (they dont deserve the america)? hahahaha, Russia, that is all, Hitler made the mistake of invading the wrong country, or else we would be watching Hitler pics everywhere in the streets.
Yes if u call waiting on the sidelines until both sides are weak and tired and then america comes along all fresh and showered face it u ran away from both wars until the end and not only that profited from hiding by buying up a lot of major companies that were affected by the war thats the only reason america is rich most of ur existence u have no history cuz u were always hiding and america is the only country that thinks america is great.
Didnt the US only fight the last year or so in WW2? In any case it wasnt the US that did anything. It was the whole Allied forces meaning the US, Canada, New Zealand, etc. Technically France as well, but they werent too effective.
Hey look at war production. The allies stood no chance against the German army without the US war production. Britain made about half what the US did. if that. 300k aircraft from the US. British Empire had 177k. NOW you honestly think that Russia would have let off the gas without the US? Britain would by the Isle of Russia now.
Joshua f stevens Carlos Acosta (2015)
Were fat because we can afford food. If it wasnt for us youd be speaking a different language. Why are you so but hurt because America doesnt care about soccer. Do we cry you dont care about football? No, probably because were not all emotional. Id of much rather seen something you said that was halfway intelligent and agreed with you, but you gotta stereotype a nation, because you disagree with the sports? Newsflash... all black people dont eat KFC, watermelon and listen to rap music. All Americans dont eat McDonalds and watch football. 2
And what if we would speak a difference language? You Americans dont realize that the language you speak is borrowed from England? You guys act like you own it! Please...
I find it so ironic that you said that Americans act like they own the language. Yet you refer to people from the US as Americans. Which only shows your level of ignorance about the language. I say that because you are oblivious to the fact that America is not the name of a country and Americans in not the name of people from one specific country. Rather it is a name that was stolen by a very selfish country. The name America has been distorted by the empire of the United States. Unitedstatians (literal translation of Estadounidenses, as they are also known in Latin America) did not invented the name America. The first recorded use of the name America is from 1507. That year Martin Waldseemller produced a map of a what is now known as the American Continent. He named this new world America, in commemoration of the great explorer Amerigo Vespucci. His map showed only one whole continent and not two or three parts to it. But many years later (hundreds of years, actually) in a selfish move, one country decided to adopt the name America as its own and to start calling themselves Americans. When in reality anyone born in the continent of America is an American. Because of their elevated ego and incredible love for creating separation, not only did they claim the name America and Americans for themselves, but they also decided to separate the continent into two imaginary parts or continents (North and South America) and teach it in their schools as the right way. Eventually creating even more separation by creating a fastidious third continent, or sub continent, referred to as Central America. However lets not forget that first person to name the whole mass of land as America and as ONE continent did so in 1507, about 270 years before the U.S. became a country, or should I say a supreme empire? But it took even more years before the name was officially adopted as their own by the Unitedstatians.
Look i got nothing against anyone. Even hate the whole idea people have oh but we saved you. There was no saving there was a teamwork among different countries that won that war. Teamwork was the key and the thing about being called americans i understand your point on unitedstatians. You are american just like i am both british and european. To say you are not american you are saying you are not born in any of those countries that reside in America. If you are born in the US you are both Unitedstatians and american. If someone calls you american then they are not wrong. You cant say they are but because they are not. You can inform them i prefere unitedstatians if you want but can not say i am not american cause that would be wrong.
So basically we stole the name american and proceeded to act like English was our own language? How does this make him ignorant, and how does that give your argument any real value?
Hey, what should they have done? They had to find a name for 13 states that didnt even really want to be together that much. Keep calling it British-America? Not really. (Actually, it needed many decades into the 19th century to get a national feeling, a great factor had been a gigantic flag on a fort from the War of 1812, which is the root of the Star sprangled Banner, but Im going too far.)
America was the logical solution, and calling themselves United States of America does NOT mean that they would be the only Americans but that they were a few selected areas of America that united. Oh, and you can blame James K. Polk for America possessing an almost continent-big country. The same could be said about Macedonia, Belarus, Central Africa, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the former United African Republic (= Egypt + Syria) or even better the former United Provinces of Ro de la Plata (= Argentina + Uruguay), initially known as United Provinces of (South) America, as they would have liked to unite whole South America.
I called them Americans because I had never heard of the word Unitedstatians before you mentioned it. Probably youre right, its due to my own ignorance, but you know, when you learn a foreign language, and English is one for me, you end up talking the way you hear other people talking. I live in Australia, when people say Americans 99.9% of the time theyre meaning the inhabitants of the USA.
You are right, a lot of people use the term America and Americans to refer to the US and people from there. Which is exactly what most of them want. i say most because I am a US Citizen but I do NOT call myself an American. I think that its tme for all Americans - all people born in the American continent - to take their righteous title back. In a similar way that I think Hispanics need to stop calling themselves Latin. Many languages derived from Latin, yet people who speak those languages are not referred to as Latin or Latinos. Italian, Portuguese, and other languages fall under that category. According to a linguistics professor, whom I cant recall his name and I wish I could, Latins is not the correct term to use to describe native Spanish speakers. Spanish native speakers are Hispanics because their language originated in Hispania, now known has Spain. That explains a lot and answers some of the questions Ive had since I was a young girl. Anyhow, no biggie, take care! By the way, your attitude says a lot about your fellow country men, or at least about yourself. People from this country would had replied with insults. It seems that us Unitedstatians love insulting others who question our wisdom. My compliments to you.
Thank you for the appreciation, its becoming more and more rare nowadays, especially on the net. I dont know about my fellow countrymen, I cant talk about them: me, I like being civilised when I discuss with someone. Which part of the USA are you from?
I was not born in the US, but my dad was Native American and he wanted me to come live here. So I moved here, to California when I was little. I love this country and would probably die defending it. I said probably because I would refuse to go to war due politicians irresponsible behavior, such as Bushs. Bush was just an idiot and he cost a lot of young young soldiers their lives. I would never fight for politicians that wont send their own kids to war. Which is exactly what will happen if Trumps gets elected. But thats a different story. Politeness, courtesy, and general good matters is a rare commodity now days. Every is out to get everyone else. I sometimes am guilty of that, but when I turn mean is when I speak up for others. Ive always hated people who pick on others just to project their own unhappiness onto others. Happy people dont go around the interner or in person putting others down. They project their happiness into others through smiles, positive comments, and everything they do. I assume by your name you are Italian, right? Ive always wanted to visit Europe and Italy is near the top of the list. Only second to Spain. I would love to do the long pilgrimage walk across Spain. A famous walk. May be one day.
Your dad was Native American and you werent born in the USA? Thats interesting! So just out of curiosity: where were you born?
Yes, Im from Italy but Im currently living in Australia, thats where I learnt my English. I currently live in Sydney. Where do you live in California? Youre talking about El camino de Santiago: its very popular over there, in between Spanish people and foreigners. I lived in Spain for almost six and a half years, but I never did it: I went to Santiago de Compostela though, back in 2008 I think: beautiful city!
I was born in Costa Rica. Nice, I want to learn Italian or Portuguese. Those are two languages that attract me a lot. I live in Los Angeles, California. I would love to live in Europe for a while. I have come to realize that the only way you can really get a feel of the people and culture of a country, is to live there for a while. Unfortunately, I dont have the education of connections to open the doors for me. I would love to do El Camino walk some day. I would also like to do some trekking across Europe. Ive met a few people who have done it with very little money.
Actually, the term US-American is very common in Germany. However it is ugly for the language sound, which is why German dictionaries definitely propose to use just American for US people as long as it is clear that the US are meant, and I find it right. American has many meanings, in that case the meaning is clear, and US-American would only be an unnecessary tautology.
Nana Darko Amoah-Mensah Sto cazzo (2016)
I dont think you can call American Football a bunch of wussies - compared to soccer after a professional game its like they have been in 32 car crashes. Like you to suggest that soccer players do the same and then youre a dead wrong
When the world says America, it means the United STATES. Not the continent America. Viva USA!! And the whole world bows down to America!!! Time to bow!!
If it wasnt for you we would be talking a different language??, Give your head a wobble fella. You dont show up to the party until its basically over
Nana Darko Amoah-Mensah joshua f stevens (2016)
Dafuq we would be speaking a diff language mate english is our language u bunch of copycats if you mean we would be speaking a diff language because u made english great then mate ur clearly dillusional most americans are im afraid u only came in power after britain used a lot of their resources during world war 1 and 2 and u stayed on the sidelines until both sides were weak and came in like ur some kind of heroes america contributed the least in both wars britain and russia contributed the most and the reason why U dont speak german and also the queen is still the most powerful person on this planet she can make or break a country without a reason including and if u dont believe that then u r a stupid american of course she wouldnt actually do that but has all the power to do so
I trust u that the queen has great power but do not under estimate America. 13 colonies were ruled by Britain then they broke away from Britain due to taxation. What were they supposed to do, invent entirely new language other than the one they have known their whole lives.
Umm...., your queen is nothing but an old puppet with absolutely no power. She just the remnants of an old/dysfunctional method of running a country.
True that. Queen is a relic of a long, long, dinosaur-age past.
Aside from the massive financial support and equipment provided to the UK and Russia. . . sure, we did nothing until later. Why should we have? There was hardly any threat to our own nation. YOu were only involved because you were attacked. If some nation had attacked the US, do you think the UK would have been gung ho to join in to help us?
That massive financial support the UK made a final repayment of $83million Dec 31, 2006? Really altruistic behaviour from an Ally and Leader Of the Free World - which joined the (Sept) 1939-45 World War II in December 1941, only reaching full fighting capacity in Europe and the Pacific 1943/44. Still an improvement on what the US calls the 1917-18 World War I, or Great War that everyone else had been fighting to retain their freedom from 1914!
And, YES, the UK and other allies of the US have proven over and over again they will put the blood of their Heroes alongside those from the United States.
America is a wealthy nation and can afford topay. Just because you have a higher salary does not mean you have a better or more popular sport. Ever watched rugby? Now theres a mans sport.
The NFL is full of athletes, much better than any other country, if we focused on a specific sport, and put our best athletes to practice learn and play, we dominate every sport, every single year, hell the womens soccer team got gold in London, and were 10th worldwide in rugby league, 2 sports we could care less about. Look at the Olympics, and tell me we dont have the fastest, strongest, and proudest group of athletes in the world. Soccer, or football whatever you want to call it is a difficult sport, but you dont give American football players enough credit, we pause every 10 seconds to strategize and give the players a break so that every single play, we see 100 percent energy. Unlike Rugby or soccer where teams are constantly going, and the game slows down in the last 15 minutes. The 4th quarter in american football is the best one because the players, although tired still have the energy to make plays. We wear pads because we dont want our 100 million dollar athletes to get injured more than they already do, the NFL woukd lose too much money, unlike rugby, where there is a concussion every 2 seconds, and ita hard to have a favorite player because theyre always out. And there is no strategy, they just tackle each other and run, it just seems pointless. The point is that no matter what sport it i.