The most popular sports in the world

The practice of sport is common in any country, but naturally there are the most popular sports in the world, mainly because they involve a legion of crazy and passionate fans.

The first sporting records took place in 27 BC, where the Romans created a sports competition involving races and gladiator fights.

So, since then, new modalities have emerged and extraordinary people participate in competitions, performing impressive movements and athletic feats.

Therefore, if you are curious to know the most popular sports in the world, here we have made a selection with the top 8.

most popular sports in the world
Canva, 2022

1 – Football (soccer)

Football is the most popular sport in the world and has more than 4 million fans and admirers. The biggest sporting event is the Football World Cup which has an audience of 3.3 billion.

Thus, what makes this sport so beloved is its simplicity, as the rules are clear and to play you just need a suitable ball.

So, as for its origin, football as we know it today dates back to England in the 19th century, although there are some historical records that point to a game similar to football 2,000 years ago in China.

Despite being played all over the world, football is most popular in Europe, Africa and Central and South America.

2 – Basketball

Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and is also one of the most popular today. It has been growing in number of practitioners, as well as in financial terms.

In this game, two teams face each other on the court, dribbling the opponents with a ball in hand and who manages to throw the ball into the basket scores the point.

Today basketball is very common in several countries in Europe and in the United States, where there is the strongest league in the world, called the NBA.

3 – Cricket

Despite not being well known here in Brazil, cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and is quite common in the UK.

In addition, this sport is also growing in India, Australia and England. In India, for example, cricket is the region’s most popular game.

So it involves two teams, a field, a bat and the races to score. For some, it’s very similar to baseball, but there are some differences, especially when it comes to the rules.

4 – Hockey

Hockey is also one of the most popular sports in the world and it can be played both on ice and on the field.

Again, it is not such a popular sport here in Brazil, but it is common in Africa, Asia and Australia. In Canada ice hockey is very common.

Therefore, the main difference between field and ice hockey is that the former does not involve any kind of body contact.

So, the game involves two teams trying to hit the ball into the opponent’s net using a hockey stick.

5 – Tennis

According to the International Tennis Federation, there are 81 million tennis players worldwide, making it one of the most popular sports as well.

In it, the players face each other and in the middle of them there is a long extended net. To play, it is still essential to have a ball and a racket.

Thus, the objective is to hit the ball into the opponent’s court until the opposing player is no longer able to hit back.

6 – Volleyball

Volleyball is the second most popular sport in Brazil, second only to soccer. Therefore, he has a special place in the hearts of the inhabitants of our country.

The dynamic is quite simple: two teams face each other, each on one side of a net, and the objective is to make the ball reach the opposing team’s field ground.

In addition, there is a variety of volleyball today, beach volleyball, which is different because it is usually played in pairs and because it takes place on the beach.

7 –Baseball

Baseball couldn’t be left out of the list of the most popular sports in the world either. In it there are two teams trying to hit a ball with a bat, there are also hitters who are running around the base to keep the scores.

Although many associate baseball with the United States, it is quite popular in Latin America and East Asia.

8 – Golf

So, to end our list of the most popular sports in the world. Let’s talk about golf, a game that involves trying to hit a small ball in a hole in the fewest number of strokes.

The origin of golf comes from Scotland and it is widely practiced in East Asia, North America and also in Western Europe.


These are just some of the most popular sports in the world. There are others that are very common here , but that do not have as much worldwide support, as is the case of handball and futsal, for example.