popular sports in brazil

It’s not difficult to say that football, or as Americans call it, soccer, is one of the most famous sports in Brazil.

However, there are other sports gaining popularity and drawing fans. This article explores the primary sports preferences among Brazilians.

In Brazil, there’s a common saying that every child dreams of becoming a professional football player.

While this might not be entirely accurate, it certainly highlights the strong inclination towards football in the country.

Soccer is a national obsession, but nowadays, it’s not the only one. But there are several other sports that are gaining popularity not only in Brazil but across the globe.

Here, we will evaluate the Top 10 Famous Sports in Brazil in detail: 

Below is the list of the top 10 famous sports in Brazil:


1. Football (Soccer)

Football in Brazil is top-rated, with many fans who closely follow the sport. Brazil’s national football team has achieved remarkable success, winning the FIFA World Cup five times. 

Moreover, Brazil is unique in having victory in both the World Cup and the Olympic football competitions.

Additionally, they have won the Copa America tournament three times and secured the second position in Copa America on four occasions.

As per the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), there are 13.2 million football players who are from Brazil, and that doesn’t even account for those who play just for fun.

Football matches dominate the prime-time slots on several of Brazil’s main TV channels.

Every four years, during the FIFA World Cup, a significant number of Brazilians are granted part-time work hours or even the opportunity not to work at all when the National Team competes.

Football is one of the most famous sports in Brazil, attracting a massive following.

However, it’s noteworthy that football players in Brazil generally earn lower salaries compared to athletes in many other sports around the world. 

Even the most famous Brazilian footballers typically earn less than $1 million per year. Some of the most renowned footballers from Brazil include Neymar Jr. and past legends like Kaka, Pele, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo.

2. Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport that has its roots in Brazil and holds the position of being the second most popular and famous sports in Brazil.

It stands as not only the most widely practised sport among young girls in the country but also one of the few sports regularly broadcast on free-to-air TV channels.

Brazil has embraced volleyball with numerous clubs and tournaments dedicated to its promotion.

The primary thing of volleyball lies in sending the ball over the net and attempting to make it touch the ground on the opposing team’s side.

The rules of volleyball are straightforward, focusing primarily on getting the ball over the net; there are no complex regulations to worry about.

In 2006, when the research document “Atlas do Esporte Brasileiro” was published, there were 15.3 million people actively participating in volleyball across Brazil, including both professionals and non-professionals.  No doubt the number of players is actively growing over the years. 

Volleyball in Brazil is a dynamic and fast-paced sport played by two teams, each comprising seven players.

It’s not limited to any specific gender and is enjoyed by both men and women. Success in volleyball demands exceptional fitness, speed, and agility from the players.

Moreover, teamwork and coordination among team members are important for achieving victory in this sport.

In Brazil, volleyball has marked its place as one of the famous sports, and its popularity continues to grow, thanks to the energetic participation of players and fans alike.

3. Basketball 

Basketball holds the title of one of the most famous sports in Brazil, and it serves as a significant source of income for many individuals.

Within the country, there exists a substantial number of professional basketball players who rake in substantial amounts of money throughout their careers.

These athletes often secure numerous endorsement deals, and some even take the bold step of owning their basketball clubs.

In a Basketball game, two teams are played and each has five players. Its popularity in Brazil is unmatchable, and it stands as the nation’s favourite sport.

The roots of basketball go back to its first basketball game in the world in 1891, which took place in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the United States.

Since then, basketball has evolved into a global sport, and Brazil has played a crucial role in its development and rise to fame.

Brazil could potentially claim a basketball legend in Oscar Schmidt, affectionately known as “Holy Hand” or Mão Santa. 

While Brazil may not yet be recognized as a basketball powerhouse, several factors are contributing to the rise in popularity.

These include the list of Brazilian players by the National Basketball Association (NBA), broader television coverage of the sport, and even the scheduling of NBA games in Brazil.

Many basketball players in Brazil have earned huge amounts of money with the help of basketball sports. The sport of basketball is deeply involved in Brazil’s culture, catching the hearts of both players and fans, and it continues to flourish as one of the most famous sports in the country.

4. Capoeira

Capoeira is a martial art that stands out for its fusion of dance, acrobatics, and music. What sets it apart is its inclusive nature, as it can be done by individuals of any age, size, or physical ability.

The document “Atlas do Esporte Brasileiro,” which studied sports participation in Brazil, reported that in 2006, there were 6 million people engaged in sports across the country.

Originating in Brazil, Capoeira has its roots in African martial arts, specifically those from Angola and Mozambique.

Playing the Capoeira involves both physical and mental aspects, offering opportunities to enhance qualities like agility, strength, flexibility, coordination, speed, and stamina. Importantly, it also imparts knowledge on injury prevention.

Beyond its physical aspects, Capoeira carries an attractive history. Its origins are believed to be interlinked with Brazil’s dark history of slavery, where it served as a means to occupy and distract enslaved individuals.

Today, Capoeira stands as not only one of the famous sports in Brazil but also as a unique cultural expression that continues to grow

5. Footvolley

Footvolley is undeniably an enjoyable sport, especially for those who enjoy beach activities. Throughout Brazil, numerous clubs have been established, each passionately engaging in footvolley across various settings.

In footvolley, two teams, each composed of seven players, participate. The game involves bouncing the ball off the court’s walls to earn points.

This sport made its debut in Brazil in 1965 and even made its way into the Olympics in 1972. Since then it is one of the most famous sports in Brazil.

Primarily popular among teenagers and young adults, footvolley boasts competitions not just in Brazil but also in countries like Italy and Germany.

With its unique blend of athleticism and beachfront fun, footvolley stands as one of the famous sports in Brazil, celebrated by humans of all ages.

6. Motorsport

Motorsport holds a significant place within the Brazilian motorsport landscape, with a classic history and several renowned Brazilian drivers emerging from this field.

Brazil is recognized for its high-speed racing circuits and the extra excitement it has for the sport.

Motorsport isn’t just one of the famous sports in Brazil; it’s deeply rooted in the country’s culture and traditions.

Many individuals in Brazil eagerly take part in various motorsport events, reflecting their love for this adventurous pumping activity.

In recent times, there has been remarkable growth and development in the motorsport sector across the nation.

This dynamic blend of history, passion, and progress makes motorsport one of the most famous sports in Brazil, captivating the hearts of racing lovers and fans alike.

7. Tennis

Tennis enjoys significant popularity in Brazil.  The country hosts many tennis competitions throughout the year.

Many prominent tennis events are held in cities, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Sao Bernardo do Campo. The annual tennis calendar begins with the first tournament in the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro.

Tennis has the most exciting followings from both genders men and women, in Brazil and across the globe as well. 

Tennis is one of the famous sports in Brazil and is associated with wealthier people.

Like Golf and Equestrianism, there are not a lot of people that practice this sport, and the number of tennis players is relatively low when compared to the size of the Brazilian population.

Tennis became more popular at the end of the 1990s with Gustavo Kuerten’s performances and won some fans in the past years that support foreign players, like Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.

One important event is the Brazilian Open, a part of the ATP World Tour 250 series, held in Rio de Janeiro.

While tennis is a sport deeply cherished in Brazil, its appeal goes far beyond the nation’s borders, making it a globally recognized and loved sport.

Tennis offers a multitude of benefits and is accessible to both boys and girls, making it a versatile sport that can be enjoyed anywhere, whether with friends or family members.

8. Judo

Judo, originally a Japanese martial art, has gained tremendous popularity in Brazil. Its introduction to the country dates back to 1914 when the Japanese ambassador brought it to Brazil.

Today, Judo is not only practised by Brazilian athletes but has found players of all ages and backgrounds. Remarkably, Brazil holds one of the world’s largest judo training centres.

In 2006 Atlas do Esporte Brasileiro mentioned the number of people actively practicing for judo in Brazil. The number was close to 2 million. Hence, it is becoming one of the most famous sports in Brazil.

Brazil holds a prominent position in the world of judo, boasting the highest number of judo players globally. The country has emerged as a global leader in this martial art, with over 400 judo players representing Brazil in international competitions.

Some notable Brazilian judo athletes who have achieved excellence in the sport include world champion and Olympic medalist Vinicius de Oliveira, Olympic medalist Thiago de Freitas, world champion Rafaela Silva, and other accomplished individuals who have secured medals on the global stage.

9. Surfing

Brazil is renowned for its stunning beaches, and surfing stands out as one of the most famous sports in Brazil.

Notably, Brazilians have a deep affection for surfing, and they even travel to foreign shores to chase this thrilling sport.

What sets Brazil apart is its diverse range of wave types, offering something for every surfer. With favourable conditions year-round, Brazil welcomes surfers to ride its waves at any time.

Surfing is a demanding sport, requiring considerable physical strength, endurance, hand-eye coordination, and a classic physique.

It’s no wonder that surfing has been gaining popularity in Brazil. Many individuals find joy in riding the waves, and the sport is easy to learn, thanks to the availability of surf schools throughout the country.

There are some variations of surfing which are also extremely popular in Brazil. They are Bodyboarding and Standup Paddle.

10. Swimming

Swimming is undoubtedly one of the finest activities to participate in while in Brazil. The country boasts numerous stunning beaches, creating ideal settings for swimming.

Engaging in swimming in Brazil isn’t just enjoyable; it’s a fantastic way to maintain fitness and overall health. It’s an accessible activity suitable for people of all ages, thanks to the inviting waters.

Surprisingly, despite so many opportunities, many individuals have yet to experience the joys of swimming.

While the United States offers impressive pools, it’s worth noting that Brazil surpasses all other countries in the large number of pools available.

Swimming in Brazil, with its beautiful coastal locations and many pool options, is a standout choice for both locals and visitors looking to live a healthy nd enjoyable lifestyle. No wonder it is among the most famous sports in Brazil.

Also, check out Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Sri Lanka [2023]

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