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The Most Popular Sports in the World

If you have ever wondered which are the most popular sports in the world, you have landed in the right place!

Numerous elements contribute to the popularity of each sport, including the number of people who watch and participate globally.

On that basis, determining which sports are most popular can be a little subjective, particularly when balancing which element matters most.

However, we have burned the midnight oil to produce what we feel is the definitive top 10 list of popular sports in the world.

1. Football

2. Cricket

3. Hockey

4. Tennis

5. Volleyball

6. Table tennis

7. Basketball

8. Baseball

9. Rugby

10. Golf

Football is undoubtedly the number sport in Europe, with competitions such as the Champions League and Premier League attracting massive followings.

International tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championships also attract huge attention when they are played every four years.

Rugby, tennis and Formula One are other popular sports across the continent, while people in Spain and eastern Europe love basketball.

American Football (NFL), basketball (NBA), ice hockey (NHL) and baseball (MLB) stand head and shoulders above every other sport in North America.

However, American Football lags behind basketball and baseball when assessing their impact on a global scale.

Tennis, golf and motorsports are also hugely popular in North America, while ice hockey is the most popular spectator sport in Canada.

Football is massive in South America, with Brazil and Argentina leading the way in terms of success on a worldwide scale.

Brazil are the most successful nation in the history of the World Cup, and many of their players represent some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Beach volleyball also has a considerable following in South America, while boxing is another sport that generates enormous interest across the continent.

Given the size of Asia, it is no surprise to find that several sports have massive followings and are played on a widescale basis.

Cricket dominates in countries such as India and Pakistan, while football, basketball and table tennis are massive in China.

Badminton, hockey, rugby, baseball, tennis and golf are amongst the other sports that are popular in selected regions across Asia.

Africa is another continent where football dominates, with several countries making their mark on a global scale in recent years.

However, a lack of resources means that top African players must head to Europe’s best leagues to make a living in the sport.

Cricket is extremely popular in South Africa and Zimbabwe, while rugby, athletics and cycling also attract plenty of attention in Africa.

Australian rules football is the most-watched sport in Australia, while rugby and cricket also have huge followings across Oceania.

Golf, tennis and basketball also attract huge interest across the continent, while football has a strong following in some of the main towns and cities.

Swimming boasts huge participation levels in Australia, with more than three million people enjoying the sport at professional, amateur and recreational levels.