Sports play an important role in most of our lives, whether we play a particular game or follow a sport. Various sports are played all over the world as hobbies, careers or fitness regimes. People follow sports, and sports stars with great devotion and adoration. There are quite a lot of sports which have garnered a lot of popularity, attracting more than a billion fans. Each game is renowned in its own way, and listed below are five of the most popular sports in the world.
Soccer tops this list without any doubt; boasting with a 4 billion fan base worldwide, football is not just a sport, but an emotion for players and fans alike. It is the most accessible sport for people from every walk of life, and there’s hardly a person who hasn’t kicked a ball. According to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), more than 240 million people around the world play soccer regularly. Soccer, or football, as it is colloquially known, officially originated in England and is the most popular and globally accepted sport today.
Cricket ranks second in this list with an estimated 2 billion followers. The Twenty20 league is the third most-viewed sporting event behind the FIFA World Cup and Rugby World Cup. Cricket is second sport that originated in England, in the 18th century. The most popular sport in India is cricket, and for Indians, it is more than just a game. The players are worshipped as gods, and every match is followed diligently. The women’s cricket team is slowing garnering much- needed popularity as well.
Basketball is the world’s fastest growing sport with over a whopping 1 billion fans, the second-highest number of professional leagues worldwide and the highest average salary at the top level. The boys who aim the ball at the net basket are extremely popular, and their sport has loyal and devoted fans. Professional leagues are being established in countries across the world, especially in eastern European countries like Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, and Serbia following the craze that the sport has.
With an average of 45 countries represented in top 100 tennis ranking in both the men’s and women’s game, tennis is without doubt among the world’s most famous sports. Players from both the men’s and women’s game, from 30 different countries, have won at least one grand slam, making it a unique record in the sport. Tennis originated in Northern France in the 12th century, and it slowly spread to the other parts of the world, slowly gaining popularity and evolving over the ages.
The sole representative of combat sports in this list, boxing has fought tooth and nail to mix it with the most popular sports year after year. Boxing is a major sport in countries across every single continent, and the sheer volume of talent can mainly be seen during the Olympic Games. Boxing’s popularity has steadily risen, its growth earmarked by the $400m revenue generated by Mayweather versus Pacquiao in 2015 and the sell-out record attendance at the Joshua versus Klitschko fight at Wembley in 2017.