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Most Popular Sports in the World

Bhakti Satalkar Mar 7, 2020
Have you always wondered which are the most popular sports played around the world? You might well be surprised to know the truth. Have a look...
Every sport has its own history of origin, and obviously has also come a long way since the time it was first played. With the number of sports played all around the world today, and the arrival of satellite television, these sports are also followed and watched in large numbers by people all around the globe. Hence, arises the debate as to which are the most popular sports in the world.
Everyone has their own favorites, and some sports are more popular in different parts of the world. But there are a few that are followed worldwide, and have an unbelievable fan base. Take for example soccer. This is one sport that is played in almost every country in the world. It is also one of the oldest sport to be played by man.

Top Sports in the World

When we talk about popular sports the world-over, it is imperative to understand, that some sports are played regionally and are not well-known in all parts of the world. However, there are other sports that have become popular, as they are played in more parts of the world.
Popularity is decided depending on a number of factors, which include number of fans, number of people playing the said game, worldwide facilities for the game, tournaments or matches held all over the world, merchandise used, etc.


According to estimates, there are more than 3.5 billion people, who either watch or play the game, making it the most popular sport in the world. The World Cup, commonly known as the FIFA World Cup, is a global championship which is played once in four years.
Football has 208 member nations; hence, is one of the world's richest sports. The different leagues played around the world, like the English Premier League, Champions League, and the likes, are very popular. The richest club in the world is Manchester United.


Having different versions of the game, cricket is one of the most popular sports around. There are Test matches, One Day Internationals, and Twenty20 matches that are played.
There are cricket-crazy fans all over the world, but the number is far more astonishing in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, England, and South Africa. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the governing body for the sport, and has more than 100 member nations.

Field Hockey

This is the national sport of India and Pakistan. It is popular in countries like India, Pakistan, Germany, Holland, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Argentina, etc.
The Olympics and the World Cup are the most prominent events in hockey, which in the years gone by, was dominated by India, with eight Olympic Golds, and Pakistan by winning four World Cups. The governing body is the International Hockey Federation, and has 100+ member countries.


There are more than 1 billion people either playing or watching the game of tennis. If statistics are to be believed, tennis is very popular in the richer countries of the world, including the United States, Australia, Europe, etc., though, it is also widely-played in some of the Asian countries as well.
Every year, there are four main tennis tournaments which are held, known as 'Grand Slams', besides the other tournaments played all year round across the globe.


Baseball is followed and played largely in countries like USA, China, Russia, Philippines, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc. The FIBA World Championship and the Olympics are the major international events for this sport. It is similar to cricket, which is why it isn't very popular in countries where the game of cricket is widely played.


This is the national sport of Sri Lanka, and is played a lot in countries like the United States, Brazil, Russia, Italy, Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands, where it is also very popular as a school sports discipline. The most important tournaments for volleyball are the Olympics and the World Cup. FIVB is the international governing body for this game, and it has over 150 member nations.

Table Tennis

This game is also known as Ping Pong. It originated in England, where it was originally an after-dinner activity. Now, it is one of the most popular sports in China, India, Korea, Singapore, Japan, etc.
After reading this article, it is but obvious that die-hard fans of different sports will argue about how their favorite sport is more popular than others. The important thing is to enjoy the sport that you either follow or play. Cheers!