Top 5 most popular sports in Spain

Do you still think that Spain doesn’t give enough importance to sports and exercise? The country has some of the best national sports teams in the world, particularly football, basketball, cycling and tennis. It is home to well-known athletes like Pau Gasol and Rafael Nadal, and has won 174 Olympic medals across all games.

 

According to the 2020 European Survey of Health in Spain, over 25% of individuals aged 15 and above exercise in their free time, which is 6 percent higher than figures from the previous year, placing Spain ahead of several other European countries.

What’s more, in Spanish schools all children and teenagers up to the age of 17 must take a subject related to physical education with over 3 hours of class per week. That’s why following some of the most popular sports in Spain is just an extra. Let us tell you about them!

Top 5 most popular sports in Spain | BSS

Do you still think that Spain doesn’t give enough importance to sports and exercise? The country has some of the best national sports teams in the world, particularly football, basketball, cycling and tennis. It is home to well-known athletes like Pau Gasol and Rafael Nadal, and has won 174 Olympic medals across all games.

 

According to the 2020 European Survey of Health in Spain, over 25% of individuals aged 15 and above exercise in their free time, which is 6 percent higher than figures from the previous year, placing Spain ahead of several other European countries.


What’s more, in Spanish schools all children and teenagers up to the age of 17 must take a subject related to physical education with over 3 hours of class per week. That’s why following some of the most popular sports in Spain is just an extra. Let us tell you about them!

What are the most popular sports in Spain?

As we already mentioned, sports play a fundamental role in the daily lives of thousands of students and workers in Spain, serving as entertainment, hobbies, relaxation or part of a healthy routine. Let’s take a look at some of the Spaniards’ favourite sports!

I. Football

If any giant deserves a position on the podium of the most important sports in Spain, it’s football. Seventy percent of the country’s population claims to be interested or very interested in annual football competitions, making Spain the seventh most football-mad country in the world. Impressive, right?

Furthermore, as a discipline, it is the only one that is followed by up to 40% of Spaniards. On top of all this, Spain has world-class teams that are famous around the globe with top-rated players. Have you heard of Real Madrid or F.C. Barcelona? They’re our capitals’ teams.

II. Basketball

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the country both at the amateur and professional levels. Many cities have teams and there are many competitions and tournaments. Basketball is even more important in the realm of federated sports and the Spanish Basketball Federation has issued almost 380,000 licenses.

In addition, Spain’s national basketball team is one of the best in the world, having won the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2006 and 2019, as well as EuroBasket in 2009 and 2011. Many Spanish players who have enjoyed great success in the NBA, the professional basketball league in the United States, started their career here, including Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio, to name but a few.

III. Cycling

Cycling: a relatively unknown discipline that has become one of the most popular sports in the country, but which does not receive a large amount of media attention. Spain has a large number of cyclists and teams at both the national and international levels and is the birthplace of some of the world’s most prominent cyclists such as Miguel Indurain, Alberto Contador, Óscar Freire and Alejandro Valverde.

Spain is home to the Vuelta a España, one of the world’s three major cycling stage races, which attracts a massive fan base to watch the event either in person across the country or at home on the TV.

IV. Tennis

Tennis is important for many reasons. Firstly, Spain has a long tradition in this sport and has produced some of the world’s most successful players. For example, Rafael Nadal is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won 22 Grand Slam titles throughout his career.

Secondly, tennis is one of the most popular sports in Spain and the national team has won the Davis Cup, an annual competition that brings together the world’s best players, on five occasions.

 

Last but not least, this sport has a strong economic impact in our country, meaning that it is prioritised by the state.

V. Padel

Although not as widely known in Spain as the other sports on our list, padel is becoming increasingly important in the country’s sports sector. As a result, important clubs are developing and athletes like Juan Martín Díaz, who has won some 116 titles in competitions such as the Padel Pro Tour or the World Padel Tour, are experiencing great success

Top 5 most popular sports in Spain | BSS

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