It is no coincidence that soccer is the most popular sport in the world thanks to the billions of fans from all walks of life who enjoy the beautiful game. While its status as the number one sport is under no immediate threat, the game is more popular in certain areas of the world than in others.
This article answers the question “Where is Soccer Most Popular?” by uncovering the top soccer-mad nations on the planet. We also reveal a few reasons for the unmatched popularity of the beautiful game in those countries.
Where is Soccer Most Popular?
Soccer has traditionally been popular in South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Germany, Italy, England, and Spain are European nations where the game is loved while Nigeria and Egypt are also known as African soccer hotbeds.
Despite its humble beginnings in England in the 1800s, soccer has evolved to become the most popular sport on the planet. Many folks cannot help but fall in love with the game due to the easy rules, colorful jerseys, and of course the mesmerizing actions on the playing field.
It is easy as a fan to think that your compatriots are the most soccer-mad followers on the planet only to travel to another country and be met with even higher levels of dedication to the beautiful game. Here are the top 10 soccer-mad countries on the globe.
Home of Pele, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo, Brazil is the most passionate soccer nation in the world. For Brazilians, soccer is more of a culture than a sport and it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out a few minutes after walking on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, or Brasilia.
Known for winning the FIFA World Cup a record 5 times, Brazilians live and breathe soccer. The men’s and women’s national teams have always been the top-ranked globally. Brazil is also the only country to have played in every World Cup so far while winning numerous other prestigious tournaments.
Germany’s 82 million population is the most passionate about soccer in Europe. It helps that their men’s national team is breathing down the neck of the Brazilians with four World Cup triumphs. After humiliating Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup, many fans believe it is only a matter of time before Germany equals Brazil’s winning record.
Also, Germany’s Bundesliga is one of the most famous soccer leagues around the world with a host of global stars. Superstar players to have donned the German shirt include Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, and Jurgen Klinsmann.
Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, and Julian Nagelsmann are German coaches who have reached the pinnacle of the game.
The passion of Argentinian soccer fans is only matched in the South American region by the Brazilians. It helps that the Argentinian national team has been successful on the global stage, winning 2 World Cups in the process.
Argentina is famous for iconic soccer players like the late Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Lionel Messi. Clubs like River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing, and San Lorenzo have also been successful in continental and local competitions.
Italy is another European nation with a huge soccer following. The multiple World Cup and European Cup triumphs underline the country’s reputation as a leading soccer nation. Besides, the Italian Serie A is one of the most prestigious leagues in the world.
Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini, and Francesco Totti are a few of the great players that have donned the Italian national team colors.
Nigeria is not only the most populous country in Africa, but it is also a continental soccer powerhouse. Nigeria has made explosive appearances in past World Cups and won multiple African Nations Cups. With many renowned players in the English Premier League, French Ligue 1, and Italian Serie A, Nigerians are ardent soccer followers.
Just spend a weekend in Lagos, Abuja, or any of the country’s cities and it becomes clear how much the locals appreciate their soccer.
England is not only known as the “home of soccer”, but it also has one of the strongest leagues in Europe. Many of the world’s best soccer players dream of featuring in the English Premiership before retirement.
England may have won a solitary World Cup in 1966 but the country remains as passionate as ever about the beautiful game.
Spain is another country where the effects of soccer are felt in every corner. The Spanish teams were perennial underachievers until 2008 when they won the Euros for the first time. They went on to triumph at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before winning the Euro 2012 trophy.
Spain’s dominance is reflected by having the 2 most iconic soccer clubs in the world i.e. Real Madrid and Barcelona. Additionally, Spain’s La Liga is also one of the game’s most prestigious leagues, with a myriad of fans across every corner of the world.
Uruguay did not only host the first-ever FIFA World Cup in 1930 but also won it. The small South American nation bagged its second World Cup in 1950. Home to superstar players like Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde, and Darwin Nunez, Uruguay is a truly dedicated soccer nation.
Additionally, the Uruguayan Primera Division is one of the strongest leagues in South America with leading clubs like Nacional and Penarol.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico by a huge margin. Introduced into the country in the late 1800s, the first soccer club was founded in 1901 leading to a rapid interest in the sport. Mexico has produced some of the greatest players to appear in the game including Hugo Sanchez, Manuel Marquez, and Jorge Campos.
Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986 although it is yet to win. However, the North American country has won the Gold Cup a record 11 times.
Egypt is another African country with an insatiable appetite for soccer. It has one of the strongest local leagues with prominent clubs like Al Ahly, Ismail, and Zamalek. Egypt has won the African Nations Cup a record seven times.
Notable names who have donned the Pharaohs of Egypt jersey include Mohammed Salah, Mohamed Aboutrika, and Mido.
What is The Most Popular Country For Soccer?
China is the most popular country for soccer in terms of population. With an estimated 187 million soccer fans, no other country matches the Asian nation. Many believe that soccer originated in China more than 2300 years ago in the city of Lin Zi as a sport to check the physical conditioning of soldiers.
The game may have only become popular in the country in the last two decades or so, but a sizable population has fallen for it.
What City Is Soccer Most Popular in the United States?
Los Angeles is the number one city for soccer in the United States thanks to its huge Latino population. The presence of MLS teams such as the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles FC add to the thrill of living in the city among soccer fans.
Followers of the beautiful game that reside in LA count themselves lucky because they never run out of soccer matches to watch during the major season.
Where Is Soccer The Least Popular?
Soccer may be the number one sport in the world but there are a few countries where an alternative sport is more popular including India, the United States, Canada, Australia, Lithuania, and South Africa. If you live in any of these countries, chances are soccer is not your greatest passion.
Which Country Has The Best Soccer Fans?
Brazil is not only the number one football nation in the world but also has the best soccer fans. They are the most passionate followers on the planet which becomes evident during World Cup, Copa America, and other tournaments.
The five-time world champions and nine-time Copa America champions have extremely demanding fans that expect nothing but gold medals during every tournament.
Why is Soccer So Popular In Europe?
Soccer’s popularity in Europe is due to its working-class roots and the simplicity of the game. The fact that the sport originated in Europe which features some of the most prestigious clubs also fuels its increasing popularity.
Besides, Europe has some of the best soccer stadia in the world with well-organized leagues and cup competitions that are attractive to the average person. The beautiful game’s popularity on the continent does not seem like waning anytime soon.
Soccer is more popular in South American powerhouses such as Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. In Europe, countries like Germany, England, Italy, and Spain have citizens that breathe and live soccer while Nigeria and Egypt are the giants of the game in Africa in terms of popularity.
However, the popularity of the sport continues to surge and countries like the United States, China, and India are emerging as soccer frontlines. Experts believe it is only a matter of time before the Asian and North American nations rival Europe in terms of the number of followers.