From football to tennis, the most popular sports in Italy and in the world

What are the most popular sports in Italy and in other countries of the world? This question was answered by a survey carried out by YouGova leading international market research firm with a strong focus on sports.

In this new report, the company has set itself the goal of understanding the impact of social and environmental issues within sport by exploring how fans respond to these topics. With over three-quarters of adults worldwide following at least one sport, gathering for a sporting event is, for many, an opportunity to feel part of a community and to come together around a common interest.

From the YouGov survey, it appears that sport is followed in the world by 76% of people. Looking at the size of regional fan bases in the 51 international markets surveyed, these range from as little as 60% to as much as 91%, with most markets globally at or above 75%. Italy slightly exceeds 70%).

Sport often plays a huge role in a country’s national pride, whether it’s supporting its national team or a local athlete, but what are the most popular sports in different territories? The data of YouGov Global Fan Profiles examined the top three sports most watched or followed by fans in certain countries.

Most popular sports in Italy – Football dominates in several countries

Soccer is the most popular sport globally, followed by basketball and swimming. Its extreme popularity is evident in 9 of the 16 countries analyzed. American football and Australian football appear in pole position respectively in the United States e in Australiawith ice hockey ranked first in Canada. In India cricket dominates, while in China basketball is the number one sport. In Italia? In first place – as expected – football, followed by tennis and motorsport. This is the ranking for each country analyzed (in order from the first to the third sport):

  • Argentina: football, tennis, basketball
  • Australia: football australiano, tennis, cricket
  • Canada: ice hockey, baseball, American football
  • China: basketball, table tennis, badminton
  • France: football, tennis, rugby
  • Germany: football, ski jumping, biathlon
  • Hong Kong: football, badminton, swimming
  • India: cricket, kabaddi, badminton
  • Indonesia: badminton, football, motorsport
  • Italy: football, tennis, motorsport
  • Poland: ski jumping, volleyball, football
  • Singapore: football, swimming, badminton
  • Spain: football, tennis, basketball
  • Great Britain: football, tennis, rugby
  • United Arab Emirates: football, basketball, cricket
  • United States of America: American football, baseball, basketball


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