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Who are the most popular athletes from Chile?

From the soccer pitches to the tennis courts, who has made the biggest impact?

Discover the top athletes hailing from Chile and explore how they have left their mark on their respective sports.

Also check out our post about the most popular soccer players from Chile.

#1 Alexis Sánchez

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Soccer
  • 🎂 Born in: 1988
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Copa América Titles

Alexis Sánchez, a highly talented forward, has established himself as one of Chile’s most successful soccer players. With his speed and goal-scoring prowess, he has played for top European clubs and been an essential part of Chile’s national team.

His remarkable career and passion for the game have made him an inspiration for aspiring soccer players in Chile and beyond.

#2 Arturo Vidal

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Soccer
  • 🎂 Born in: 1987
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Copa América Titles

Arturo Vidal, known for his relentless grit and tireless work ethic, has become one of Chile’s most celebrated soccer players. His versatility and ability to contribute both defensively and offensively make him an invaluable asset to his team.

Alongside his national team accomplishments, Vidal has enjoyed a successful club career, playing for some of Europe’s most prestigious teams.

#3 Gary Medel

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Soccer
  • 🎂 Born in: 1987
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Copa América Titles

Gary Medel, affectionately known as “Pitbull” for his tenacious playing style, has earned a reputation as one of Chile’s most formidable soccer players. His strong defensive skills and fighting spirit have been crucial to the success of both his club and national teams.

Despite his tough on-field demeanor, Medel is well respected for his sportsmanship and dedication to the game.

#4 Nicolás Massú

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Tennis
  • 🎂 Born in: 1979
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Olympic Gold Medals

Nicolás Massú, a former professional tennis player, holds the distinction of being the first Chilean to win an Olympic gold medal. His agile playing style and powerful baseline strokes made him a formidable opponent on the court.

Massú’s historic Olympic triumph in 2004 remains a source of pride and inspiration for aspiring Chilean athletes.

#5 Fernando González

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Tennis
  • 🎂 Born in: 1980
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 1 Olympic Gold Medal (Doubles) and 2 Olympic Silver Medals (Singles)

Fernando González, another prominent Chilean tennis player, achieved remarkable success throughout his career. Known for his powerful forehand and innate passion for the game, González stood out on the world stage and brought glory to his country.

His Olympic achievements, alongside compatriot Nicolás Massú, have made the duo icons of Chilean sport.

#6 Claudio Bravo

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Soccer
  • 🎂 Born in: 1983
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2 Copa América Titles

Claudio Bravo, widely considered one of Chile’s top goalkeepers, has enjoyed an illustrious career. With his sharp reflexes and commanding presence, Bravo has been instrumental in the successes of both his club and national teams.

His outstanding performances during Chile’s Copa América victories have established him as a pivotal figure in Chilean soccer history.

#7 Tomás González

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Gymnastics
  • 🎂 Born in: 1985
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 4 South American Games Gold Medals

Tomás González, the first Chilean gymnast to participate in the Olympic Games, has made a name for himself with his exceptional skills and fluidity. His numerous accomplishments in gymnastics have paved the way for future generations of Chilean athletes in the sport.

González’s dedication and persistent pursuit of excellence have made him a true icon in the world of gymnastics.

#8 Iván Zamorano

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Soccer
  • 🎂 Born in: 1967
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: Copa América Runner-up (1987)

Iván Zamorano, a retired Chilean soccer player, was a prolific goal scorer. Throughout his career, he played for several top European clubs and was a key member of the Chilean national team. His formidable scoring ability made him one of the most revered strikers of his era.

Although never winning a major international tournament with Chile, his dedication to the sport and his country left a lasting impact on Chilean soccer.

#9 Marcelo Ríos

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Tennis
  • 🎂 Born in: 1975
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: World No. 1 Ranking (1998)

Marcelo Ríos, a former professional tennis player, remains one of Chile’s most prominent figures in the sport. Known for his aggressive playing style and exceptional backhand, Ríos reached the pinnacle of the sport when he became the first Chilean tennis player to achieve a world No. 1 ranking in 1998.

Although never winning a major singles title, Ríos’s skill and ranking achievements have secured his place in Chilean sports history.

#10 Francisca Crovetto

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Shooting
  • 🎂 Born in: 1990
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2011 Pan American Games Gold Medal

Francisca Crovetto, a talented Chilean shooter, has risen through the ranks of her sport and represented Chile in multiple international competitions. Her precise targeting and strong mental focus have led her to numerous achievements, including a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games.

As one of the few female Chilean athletes to achieve success in shooting, Crovetto is seen as a pioneer in her field.

#11 Érika Olivera

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Athletics (Marathon)
  • 🎂 Born in: 1976
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 5-time Gold Medalist at the South American Marathon Championships

Érika Olivera, a long-distance runner, has become one of Chile’s most accomplished marathon athletes. Her incredible endurance and determination have not only led to multiple victories in South American Championships but have also seen her represent Chile in several Olympic Games.

As an inspiring figure for young Chilean athletes, Olivera’s career stands as a testament to hard work and perseverance.

#12 Bárbara Riveros

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Triathlon
  • 🎂 Born in: 1988
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 2011 Pan American Champion

Bárbara Riveros, a renowned Chilean triathlete, has represented her country with distinction on the world stage. Her remarkable performances across swimming, cycling, and running have earned her numerous titles, including the prestigious Pan American Champion in 2011.

Riveros’s versatility and competitive drive have made her a respected figure in the triathlon community, showcasing Chile’s talent to the world.

#13 Lissette Vodanovic

  • 🏆 Sport(s): Athletics (Hammer Throw)
  • 🎂 Born in: 1974
  • 🥇 Biggest Achievement: 1999 South American Champion

Lissette Vodanovic, a Chilean hammer thrower, gained recognition during her impressive career by claiming numerous national records. Her powerful throws led her to achieve the prestigious title of South American Champion in 1999.

By continuously pushing the boundaries and raising the bar in her discipline, Vodanovic has left her mark on Chilean athletics history.


Who is the greatest athlete in the history of Chile?

Roberto ‘Condor’ Rojas is typically hailed as the greatest athlete in Chile’s history.

Who is the most popular female athlete from Chile?

The most popular female athlete from Chile is tennis player Fernanda Brito.

Which sport has the most popular athletes from Chile?

Football is the sport producing most of Chile’s popular athletes.

Which athlete from Chile is the most popular internationally?

Internationally, footballer Alexis Sanchez is the most popular athlete from Chile.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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