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Ever wondered what fuels the passion of Belgians apart from waffles and chocolate?

Sports, of course!

While soccer dominates the nation’s fervor, there are plenty of other exciting sports Belgians adore.

Embark on a journey to unveil the 11 most popular sports in Belgium that keep fans on the edge of their seats.

Most Popular Sports in Belgium:

  1. Soccer
  2. Basketball
  3. Tennis
  4. Field Hockey
  5. Rugby Union
  6. Volleyball
  7. Handball
  8. Polo
  9. Golf
  10. Athletics
  11. Boxing

#1 Soccer

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: 1863
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Eden Hazard (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 500,000

Soccer is undeniably the most popular sport in Belgium, and its excitement is both contagious and intense. The Belgian Pro League, as the country’s top-flight soccer league, showcases fierce competition among clubs and captivates audiences.

Eden Hazard, a Belgian soccer prodigy, has acquired worldwide recognition and admiration. The Belgian national team, also known as the Red Devils, has become a formidable force in international competitions, proudly finishing third in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The success and cultural impact of soccer in Belgium continue to inspire generations of fans and aspiring athletes alike.

#2 Basketball

Basketball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Ann Wauters (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 100,000

Basketball in Belgium may not rival soccer’s popularity but garners considerable attention and support. The Belgian Basketball League, also known as the Euromillions Basketball League, is the nation’s top-level league and witnesses nail-biting matches.

Ann Wauters, a skilled Belgian player, has achieved fame and success in various professional leagues, including the WNBA. Belgian basketball clubs and national teams have had a significant impact on European competitions, developing a strong fan base at home and abroad. As basketball continues to grow in Belgium, the future of the sport shines bright.

#3 Tennis

Tennis
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Late 1800s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Kim Clijsters (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 150,000

Tennis in Belgium holds a prestigious place in the country’s sports landscape, with numerous fans and enthusiasts following domestic and international tournaments. Significant tennis events like the European Open and the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games have attracted world-class players to Belgian soil.

Kim Clijsters, a Belgian tennis icon, has inspired countless fans and young athletes with her impressive career and multiple Grand Slam titles. Belgium’s national tennis teams, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup squads, have achieved remarkable feats throughout the years, further cementing the sport’s prominence in the nation.

#4 Field Hockey

Field Hockey
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: John-John Dohmen (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 50,000

Field Hockey enjoys a significant following in Belgium, both as a popular sport and source of national pride. The Belgium Hockey League, comprising the Men’s and Women’s divisions, exhibits the country’s hockey talent and drives growing fandom.

John-John Dohmen, an accomplished Belgian field hockey player, has represented the country in numerous international competitions. With the Belgian national team, the Red Lions, winning the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup and the 2021 EuroHockey Championship, field hockey’s popularity and influence have witnessed an unprecedented surge in Belgium.

#5 Rugby Union

Rugby
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Vincent Debaty (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 10,000

Rugby Union in Belgium has grown in popularity over the years, and while not as mainstream as soccer or basketball, it has a dedicated fan base. The Belgian Elite League showcases the country’s rugby talent and fosters an exciting atmosphere during matches.

Vincent Debaty, a formidable Belgian rugby player, has gained recognition in international rugby. Belgian fans also enjoy watching and supporting major global tournaments like the Six Nations Championship. As the sport continues to develop, rugby union’s presence in Belgium captures a unique blend of competition and camaraderie among players and fans alike.

#6 Volleyball

Beach Volleyball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Lise Van Hecke (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 50,000

Volleyball is another popular sport in Belgium that attracts enthusiastic followers. The Belgian Volleyball League, consisting of both men’s and women’s divisions, provides thrilling competition for spectators and showcases the country’s top talent.

Lise Van Hecke, a star Belgian player, has made a name for herself in the international volleyball scene. Both Belgian national teams, known as the Yellow Tigers (women’s team) and Red Dragons (men’s team), have improved their competitiveness in European and World competitions in recent years. With an increasing fan base, volleyball holds a firm standing in Belgium’s diverse sports landscape.

#7 Handball

Handball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Arber Qerimi (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 20,000

Handball has carved out a place for itself in Belgium’s sports scene, known for its fast pace and intricate tactics. The Belgian Handball League serves as a platform for the nation’s handball enthusiasts and hosts competitive matches that grip fans’ attention.

Arber Qerimi, a talented Belgian player, has gained recognition for his performances in domestic and international leagues. While perhaps not as popular as the more mainstream sports, handball in Belgium fosters a sense of community and encourages teamwork and skill development.

#8 Polo

Polo
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Late 1800s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Alain van Campenhout (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 1,000

Polo, often associated with luxury and elegance, has found a niche audience in Belgium. The country hosts various polo clubs and tournaments, such as the Belgium Polo Trophy, where participants can showcase their skills and technique.

Alain van Campenhout, a renowned Belgian polo player, exemplifies the sport’s finesse and competitive spirit. While the sport may cater to a more exclusive segment of the population, polo remains a vital part of Belgium’s diverse athletic offerings, continuing to captivate fans and participants alike with its air of prestige and skillful gameplay.

#9 Golf

Golf
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Late 1800s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Belgium: Thomas Pieters (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Belgium: 60,000

Golf is a popular sport in Belgium, providing both a relaxing pastime and a competitive pursuit. The country boasts a number of picturesque golf courses, where players can take in the natural beauty while honing their skills.

Thomas Pieters, a prominent Belgian golfer, has made a name for himself on the international golf scene. Belgian golfers and fans follow major tournaments such as the European Tour and PGA Tour, showcasing their enthusiasm for the sport. Golf’s popularity in Belgium is continually growing, driven by the success of local players and the increasing accessibility of golf courses throughout the nation.

#10 Athletics

Running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Ancient Times
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Belgium: Nafissatou Thiam (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Belgium: 75,000

Athletics, the foundation of numerous sports, has a significant following in Belgium. With disciplines ranging from track and field to road running and cross country, athletics encompasses various interests and abilities.

Nafissatou Thiam, a talented heptathlete, has brought pride to Belgium on the world stage, winning Olympic gold and World Championship titles. Belgium hosts several international events, such as the Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meeting, drawing athletes and fans from around the globe. With an ongoing dedication to developing talents and promoting the sport, Belgium’s athletics scene continues to flourish.

#11 Boxing

Boxing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Belgium: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Boxer from Belgium: Delfine Persoon (Belgian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Boxing Enthusiasts in Belgium: 15,000

Boxing has deep roots in Belgium’s sporting history and enjoys popularity among fans and athletes alike. A sport that demands discipline, technique, and strength, boxing highlights the commitment and dedication of its practitioners.

Delfine Persoon, a decorated Belgian female boxer, has gained international recognition for her impressive career. Boxing clubs and events throughout the country cater to amateurs and professionals alike, fostering an environment of competitiveness and development. The success and rich history of boxing in Belgium continue to intrigue and inspire future generations of pugilists.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Belgium?

Soccer, or football, reigns as the most popular sport in Belgium, with a strong connection to the nation’s culture and a massive following that includes millions of passionate fans.

What is the national sport of Belgium?

The national sport of Belgium is soccer (football), which is deeply rooted in the country’s cultural and sporting traditions, and enjoys widespread support across the nation.

What are the most watched sports in Belgium?

The most watched sports in Belgium include soccer (football), basketball, tennis, field hockey, rugby union, volleyball, handball, polo, golf, athletics, and boxing, each drawing significant viewership and fan engagement within the country.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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