Top and The Most Popular Sports in Brazil

Top and The Most Popular Sports in Brazil

Top and The Most Popular Sports in Brazil

Brazil’s Top and Most Popular Sports,

The Most Popular Brazilian Sports

Find below Brazil national sports, ranked by popularity:

5Futsal and Beach Soccer
11Table Tennis
13Mixed Martial Arts
15Auto Racing


So there you have them, the most popular Brazilian sports! Keep reading below for more information about each sport in Brazil.

What is the National Sport of Brazil?

The national sport of Brazil is football. This will not surprise you, I’m pretty sure: football is sacred in Brazil, and there is even a popular saying in the country that every kid dreams of becoming a professional football player. It is a national pride and passion, mostly because it is very accessible, even to the poorest children.

Learn More About Brazil Popular Sports

With the exception of Ecuador and Chile, Brazil is bordered by every other country in South America, making it the fifth-largest country in the world. The population of Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia, is around 3,039,000 (but over 4,291,000 if you count the metropolitan region!).

The most popular sports in the nation are an intriguing aspect of the nation that I wanted to explore. In light of this, I’ve listed every popular sport in Brazil in the hopes that you’ll enjoy them:


football is the national sport of brazil

The most popular sport in Brazil is football. Football is a religion in Brazil, and the country has one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport. La Seleção is to this day the only team with 5 FIFA World Cup titles, and it has had many iconic players throughout the decades: Pelé, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and Neymar Jr. for example.

This sport is so important that main TV channels’ prime times are often filled with football matches, and when it is World Cup time, every 4 years, employees are even allowed to work part-time!

Number of Football licensed players in Brazil: 13,200,000 (not including people practicing for fun)

Famous Brazilian Football players: Pelé, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Neymar Jr., Romário, Kaká, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Marcelo, Dani Alves, Philippe Coutinho



volleyball is in the popular brazilian sports

The second most popular sport in Brazil is volleyball. Of course, football is of prime importance in Brazil. However, other sports, including volleyball, are starting to become more and more popular.

It is the sport that gets the closest to the popularity of football, mainly because it is the most practiced sport among young girls in the country.

Also, as unbelievable as this sounds, there are more volleyball licensed players in the country than licensed footballers! This is mostly because the vast majority of children play for fun in the streets.

Number of Volleyball licensed players in Brazil: 15,300,000

Famous Brazilian Volleyball players: Giba, Sérgio Santos, Bruno Rezende, Dante Amaral, Murilo Endres, Gustavo Endres, Ricardo Gracia


facts about brazil sports and swimming

The third most popular Brazil sport is swimming. Have you ever seen the country of Brazil on a world map? The first thing that springs to mind is most of the time the large coast. This coastline is so large that it is more than 7,000 km / 4,350 miles long! No wonder why swimming is so popular.

While not many people enjoy watching swimming competitions in Brazil (except during the Olympics mostly), there are tons of swimmers. Brazilians all learn how to swim when they are very young, and it would sound weird to them that someone does not know how to swim!

Famous Brazilian Swimming players: Fernando de Abreu, Brandonn Almeida, Kaio de Almeida, Nathalia Almeida, Antônio Amaral Filho, Orlando Amêndola, Patrícia Amorim, José Aranha


athletics is a brazil favorite sport


The fourth most popular sport in Brazil is actually several sports: athletics. And it is in fact the reason for them to be so popular: their multitude greatly helps with their popularity. Among them, the most famous ones are definitely walking, running, and jumping variations.

Brazilian students are often encouraged by their teachers to practice these sports in most public schools.

However, competitors are not happy with how poorly funded their sport is: the government barely invests in any other sport than football.

Famous Brazilian Athletics players: Adhemar da Silva, Nelson Prudêncio, Vanderlei de Lima, João Carlos de Oliveira, Joaquim Cruz, Torben Grael, Robson da Silva, Robert Scheidt

Futsal and Beach Soccer

beach soccer is in the brazil most popular sports

The fifth most popular sports in Brazil are both futsal and beach soccer, which are variations of football.

Football is everywhere in Brazil… even twice among the most popular sports in the country! Futsal and beach soccer are basically football in different conditions, the first one is on a small handball court, played indoor, and the second one is played on the beach, in the sand.

Both of these sports were created in Brazil, and they are very appreciated by young students. Also, there are so many beaches in the country that Brazilians might as well use them, right?

Famous Brazilian Futsal and Beach Soccer players: Zico, Jairzinho, Branco, Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior, Zinho, Ruy Ramos, Elinton Andrade, Ozu Moreira, Cláudio Adão, Bruno Xavier


judo is a popular brazil sport


The sixth most popular sport in Brazil is judo. Don’t get me wrong, judo is not extremely hyped up, especially nowadays, but it is still the most practiced martial arts in the country.

The majority of Brazilians who practice judo on a regular basis are kids and youngsters. Brazilians have been practicing judo since 1914, and the creation of judo even brought another martial art to the country, Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

In 2012, the country was ranked sixth at the Summer Olympics in judo, with bronze medals in various divisions and a gold medal.

Number of Judo licensed players in Brazil: more than 2,000,000

Famous Brazilian Judo players: Anderson Silva, Sarah Menezes, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Amanda Nunes, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fabricio Werdum, Ronaldo Souza, Demian Maia, Taynara Conti


capoeira is a most popular sport in brazil


The seventh sport in this list of Brazil famous sports is Capoeira. You must have heard of capoeira already, the traditional mix of sport and dance from Brazil. It is still recognized as a sport, and it was created as a derivation from dances and rituals performed by African slaves during the Brazilian colonial period.

Today, many people of different ages and economical classes practice capoeira. Not only to express their culture but also because it is said to improve blood circulation and reflexes.

Number of Capoeira licensed players in Brazil: 6,000,000


surfing is one of brazil main sports

The eighth most popular sport in Brazil is surfing. Similar to swimming and beach soccer, you will not be surprised to know that surfing is very popular in a country like Brazil, with a culture that heavily revolves around its coastline.

There are even professional Brazilian surfers, like Gabriel Medina, who helped make the sport more appreciated. Despite this, surfing is more of an amateur sport. It will be very hard for you to go to a Brazilian beach without seeing at least one surfer among the waves.

Famous Brazilian Surfing players: Gabriel Medina, Adriano de Souza, Bruna Schmitz


skateboarding is one of the most popular sports in brazil


The ninth sport in this list of Brazil main sports is skateboarding. The vast majority of skateboarders in Brazil are young people, just like in many other countries. There are still some older supporters who help keep the sport alive though.

Many important competitors, like Sandro Dias or Bob Burnquist, come from Brazil. People like these are very important for the popularity of the sport.

There are also several international tournaments that are held in Brazil, like the X Games.

Famous Brazilian Skateboarding players: Sandro Dias, Bob Burnquist, Kelvin Hoefler, Pâmela Rosa, Pedro Barros



basketball is a national sport in brazil

The tenth most popular sport in Brazil is basketball. Basketball is still on the rise in Brazil. It is probably at its popularity peak right now, and more and more Brazilians are starting to learn about this American sport.

The most famous Brazilian basketball player is probably Oscar Schmidt, also known as the “Holy Hand” or “Mão Santa”. He was not the only one who helped the sport gain popularity: the country won the 1987 Pan American Games medal against the almighty United States.

Brazil is not yet considered a strong basketball team, but more and more Brazilian players are being drafted into the NBA, and the sport is being widely broadcast.

Number of Basketball licensed players in Brazil: 132,000 (+ 42,000 unlicensed players)

Famous Brazilian Basketball players: Oscar Schmidt, Anderson Varejão, Leandro Barbosa, Tiago Splitter, Marcelinho Huertas, Nenê


Table Tennis

table tennis is a brazil national sport

The eleventh sport in this list of the top sports in Brazil is table tennis. While this seems like a very forgettable sport in many countries, you should not underestimate the popularity of table tennis. Of course, it is still far from being the most-watched sport in the country, but there are many amateurs who enjoy playing table tennis.

In fact, there are 24,000,000 table tennis practitioners in the country (according to the number of tables sold), making it the third most practiced sport in Brazil, only behind football and volleyball.

Number of Table Tennis licensed players in Brazil: 24,000 officially licensed, but 24,000,000 practitioners!

Famous Brazilian Table Tennis players: Hugo Calderano, Bruna Takahashi, Caroline Kumahara, Hugo Hoyama, Lígia Silva, Gustavo Tsuboi, Lyanna Kosaka, Mariany Nonaka, Gui Lin



handball is one of the famous sports in brazil

The twelfth most popular sport in Brazil is handball. There are not many handball practitioners in Brazil, but it is very widely taught in school. In fact, handball is the third most taught sport in public schools after football and volleyball.

The main issue for the professional scene is that there is a serious lack of structured professional competitions. The most talented players usually leave the country to play abroad. However, with the recent great results at the Olympic Games, more and more interest is starting to go towards handball.

Famous Brazilian Handball players: Eduarda Amorim, Alexandra do Nascimento, Thiagus dos Santos, Haniel Langaro, José Toledo, Rogério Moraes Ferreira, Fábio Chiuffa, Henrique Teixeira

Mixed Martial Arts

mma is one of brazil famous sports


The thirteenth most popular sport in Brazil is mixed martial arts. Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, have been gaining more and more popularity in the very recent years, all around the world. Brazil is no exception to this, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, also known as UFC, is very popular in the country.

Many Brazilian fighters are successful in this sport, like Anderson Silva and José Aldo. Thanks to them, the number of supporters grew significantly, and many Brazilians enjoy going to bars late at night to watch the fights. There are now several UFC events in Brazil and a Brazilian version of UFC’s TV reality show.

Famous Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts players: Anderson “The Spider” Silva, José Aldo “Junior”, Antônio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort, “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva, Junior “Cigano” dos Santos, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, Maurício “Shogun” Rua



tennis is in the top sports in brazil

The fourteenth most popular sport in Brazil is tennis. The reason for it being ranked so low is that it is often associated with wealthy people in Brazil. Because of how poor the country is, many Brazilian children are simply convinced they cannot afford to play tennis.

Similar to golf and equestrianism, there are not many tennis practitioners in Brazil, and the number of spectators is quite low as well.

However, tennis became more popular at the end of the 90s with Gustavo Kuerten’s performances. Most people still support foreign players like Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal though.

Famous Brazilian Tennis players: Gustavo Kuerten, Maria Bueno, Marcelo Melo, Thomaz Bellucci, André Sá, Thomaz Koch, Bruno Soares


Auto Racing

auto racing is among the major sports in brazil


The fifteenth most popular sport in Brazil is auto racing, and it is the last on this list. It is one of the rare sports that is regularly broadcast on free-to-air TV stations, alongside volleyball and football, as usual.

The most popular auto racing category is, like in many countries, Formula One. You must have heard of Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest of all times, who tragically died during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He is obviously a big reason for the sport to still be popular in Brazil.

Famous Brazilian Auto Racing players: Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Rubens Barrichello, Wilson Fittipaldi Júnior, Carlos Pace, Felipe Massa, Roberto Moreno


So there you have it, the most popular sports in Brazil. I sincerely hope you enjoyed them and gained some new knowledge today.

If you’re interested in learning more about sports in other countries, feel free to keep reading because I still have a lot to say:

More Sport Facts/..

Enjoyed learning about Brazil’s sports history? Do you want to know which sports are most popular abroad?

Top and The Most Popular Sports in Brazil

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