15 Most Popular Sports In Brazil – The Brazil Business

    It’s not too hard to say that football, or soccer as Americans call it, is the most popular sport in Brazil. however, other modalities are gaining ground and followers. discover in this article which are the main sports among Brazilians.

    There is a popular saying in Brazil that all children dream of becoming professional soccer players. This may not be entirely true, but it definitely says a lot about local sports preferences. soccer is a national passion, but today, for many people, it is not the only one.

    Reading: Sports played in brazil

    other sports are becoming more and more popular for different reasons. there is no doubt that the ease of watching anything today is an important factor, especially since broadcasters are now broadcasting international competitions in various forms, and due to live streaming services.

    Unfortunately, Brazil does not have updated numbers or a reliable ranking that can clearly measure the most popular sports in the country. the most recent data available is from 2006, but many sports, like mixed martial arts, for example, have grown in importance after this period.

    Since it is not possible to accurately quantify the number of practitioners of each sport, the following list will also present the most frequently seen. Although it does not provide an exact notion, it brings a complete panorama of the current relationship between Brazilians and sport.

    1) football or soccer

    soccer is brazil’s favorite sport, period. according to fifa (international association football federation), there are 13.2 million football players in brazil, not including those who play simply for fun. Brazil is known as the country of some of the most talented players in the world, and is the only national team to have won five FIFA World Cup titles.

    In addition, soccer matches occupy the prime time of some of the main television channels in Brazil, and every four years, when the FIFA World Cup is held, most Brazilians are allowed to work part time, or not work at all, when he plays for the national team.

    2) volleyball

    No other sport can match the popularity of football, but volleyball is probably the closest. It is not only the most practiced sport by young women in the country, but it is also one of the few sports that is regularly broadcast on free-to-air television networks.

    when the atlas do esporte brasileiro was published, the research document on the practice of sport in brazil, in 2006, there were 15.3 million practitioners in the country, between professionals and amateurs. the entities responsible for this sport believe that this number has grown since then.

    3) swim

    It is not difficult to understand why swimming is popular in a country that has a coastline of more than 7,000 km. people don’t usually watch swimming competitions much, except when the olympic or pan american games are taking place, but the number of swimmers in brazil is very large: most of them learn to swim when they are young. It may be important to note that saying you can’t swim may seem a bit strange to some Brazilians.

    4) athletics

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    athletics is not a single sport, but a group of them, which helps to popularize it. But teachers in many public schools encourage different modalities related to running and jumping, despite the fact that competitors complain about the lack of government investment in professional competitors.

    5) futsal and beach soccer

    both futsal and beach soccer, known as futebol de areia, are variants of the most popular sport in the country and were created in brazil. the first refers to futsal, where each team has only five players and the pitch is smaller than a normal pitch. it is very popular with young students, as it is easier to find an indoor pitch than an available football pitch.

    the second is the version of soccer that is played on a sand field. the abundance of beaches also explains the popularity of this sport.

    6) judo

    despite the fact that judo is not as publicized today as other similar sports in brazil, it is considered the most practiced martial art in the country. the 2006 atlas do esporte brasileiro states that more than 2 million people practice judo, which was originally invented in japan. children and youth are responsible for a large part of the number of practitioners.

    7) capoeira

    Although capoeira is recognized as a sport, some claim that it is more like a dance or simply a cultural expression. It was created as a derivation of dances and rituals developed by African slaves during the colonial period of Brazil.

    Currently, people of various ages and economic classes practice capoeira, since it is seen as a beneficial activity since it improves reflexes, circulation and motor coordination. when the atlas do esporte brasileiro was published, the document that investigated the practice of sport in brazil, in 2006, there were 6 million practitioners in the country.

    8) navigate

    today there are famous professional brazilian surfers, like gabriel medina for example, but surfing is more popular as an amateur sport. Brazil has several beaches suitable for it, and it is one of the most popular extreme sports in the country. it’s hard not to find a surfer while visiting a Brazilian beach. variations of the sport, such as body boarding and standup paddle boarding, are also popular.

    9) ride a skateboard

    As in any other country, skateboarding is mainly practiced by young people, although there are also some older fans. Brazil is home to famous competitors like Sandro Dias and Bob Burnquist, and hosting major tournaments like the X Games has helped boost the sport’s popularity. their influence, however, is limited to urban areas.

    10) basketball

    brazil could even have a member of the basketball hall of fame: oscar schmidt, known as “holy hand” or mão santa. He could also have gained popularity with major titles such as the 1987 Pan American Games medal against the United States. but the peak of popularity of this sport could be happening right now.

    despite the fact that brazil is not yet considered a strong country in basketball, the hiring of brazilian players by the national basketball association (nba), the greater diffusion of this sport and even the programming of nba games in brazil they are some of the main drivers of popularity today.

    11) table tennis

    Don’t underestimate table tennis. This modality is far from being the most watched sport in Brazil, but it is widely practiced by amateurs. Data from 2006 indicated that table tennis was the third most practiced sport in Brazil, with 12 million practitioners, only surpassed by soccer and volleyball.

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    the brazilian table tennis confederation (cbtm) states that there are currently 24 million practitioners, including amateurs, according to the calculation of the number of tables sold. However, there are only 24,000 registered players on cbtm.

    12) handball

    handball is one of the most taught sports in Brazilian schools, along with soccer and volleyball. however, its practice in the country is very limited, since there is a lack of structured professional contests. Players with the most potential tend to leave Brazil to play abroad, but recently the good results in the Olympic Games, for example, have sparked some interest in this modality.

    13) mixed martial arts

    Perhaps one of the sports that has gained more ground recently, mixed martial arts, known simply as mma, benefited mainly from the success of the ultimate fighting championship (ufc) in brazil.

    due to the success of many brazilian wrestlers, such as anderson silva and jose aldo, the number of followers grew impressively. The practice of mma has not increased in the same way as with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but many Brazilians go to bars late at night to watch the fights. This caused the UFC to bring several events to Brazil, and also provided for the creation of a Brazilian version of the UFC reality television show.

    14) tennis

    tennis is one of those sports that in brazil are associated with the richest people. like golf and horse riding, not many people practice this sport, and the number of spectators is relatively low compared to the size of the Brazilian population.

    Tennis became more popular in the late 1990s with the performances of Gustavo Kuerten, and gained some fans in recent years who support foreign players, such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.

    15) car racing

    This is one of the few sports that is broadcast regularly on free-to-air television channels, along with volleyball and, of course, soccer. the most popular modality is formula 1, but other types of races such as stock car are gaining ground. the most practiced form of this sport by fans is kart racing.

    honorable mentions

    Brazilians have a great passion for sports, and it is not surprising that the country is one of the main markets for various brands related to sports. Other modalities are also widely practiced, such as the mixture of beach soccer and volleyball, futvôlei, which is considered more of a hobby than a sport.

    Brazilian jiu-jitsu is also very popular. most practitioners take classes at gyms, and some do it just as a hobby or to get in shape. Unfortunately, the audience for this sport’s competitions, however, is far from being significant in the country.

    Some other sports have a strong fan base, but are played by a small number of people. the most notorious case is American football, but rugby is also growing in the country.

    finally there is golf, which in brazil is seen as an elite sport. because of the lack of golf courses and because the equipment is expensive; This modality is practiced only by a small part of the population.

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