Sports is one of the biggest industries and forms of entertainment in the world. With literally billions of fans, people can’t seem to get enough of their favourite sports. But how many people actually follow the different sports? And which are the most popular sports in the world? Keep reading to find out which are the 5 most popular sports in the world. 

Number 1. Football / Soccer

It probably comes as no surprise that football, also known as soccer, is the most popular sport in the world. Football requires more or less no equipment other than a ball to be played on a casual level, which is one of the reasons why so many love the sport: It’s simply accessible for most people around the world. Football holds all the records. With over 4 billion fans worldwide it has the largest number of players, followers, casual participants, live viewers and sports bettors (source: Swedish OddsGurun). What else is there to say? Around the world, football is and probably will always be the number one sport. 

Number 2. Cricket

Cricket has remained the number one sport in a large number of nations around the world since the British Empire introduced the sport hundreds of years ago. From Africa and Asia to Oceania and Europe, cricket has more than 2,5 billion followers around the globe. The most popular format of the sport is the one day international, or ODI, where a match can take up a full day. Traditional test cricket however, can see games as long as 5 days(!). Shorter modern formats like T20I and T10 have reduced the game time to 3 hours and 90 minutes in order to make the sport more accessible, but so far these formats see the largest following in Asia and the Middle East. 

Number 3. Field hockey

Second to football, field hockey is probably one of the most popular sports for casual athletes. Much thanks to this, it is also the third most popular sport in the world, with a global following of 2 billion people spread out over 98 countries on an association level. Unlike its cold sibling ice hockey, field hockey is commonly played outdoors on a field or grassy turf. Much like ice hockey is a sport in the winter olympics, field hockey is also a part of the summer olympics. More information about ice-hockey can be found at Norwegian bettingspesialisten.

Number 4. Tennis

Oct 6, 2020; Paris, France; Elina Svitolina (UKR) in action during her match against Nadia Podoroska (ARG) on day 10 at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Tennis, the sport that used to be an upper class pastime activity, has kept increasing in popularity throughout the years. Today the sport has around 1 billion followers worldwide. A majority of nations in the world have their national tennis leagues, and the peak of it all is the annual pro tour. The pro tour visits 31 different countries, and culminates in the four extremely popular Grand Slam events: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.  

Number 5. Volleyball

At number 5 we find volleyball, with roughly 900 million followers. The sport is split up into classic volleyball and the outdoors version beach volleyball. The sport sees the biggest following in Brazil and Latin America, but has lately become increasingly popular in Europe, the US, Russia and China. Volleyball has been part of the summer olympics since way back in the 60’s, and the sport is constantly growing in popularity, especially among participants.