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Have you ever explored the vibrant spirit of Brazil?

It’s not just in its Carnival or samba!

When it comes to sports in Brazil, soccer rules supreme.

But what other passions fuel Brazilian enthusiasm?

Uncover the most popular sports in Brazil in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Brazil:

  1. Soccer
  2. Volleyball
  3. Basketball
  4. Capoeira
  5. Surfing
  6. Swimming
  7. Athletics
  8. Handball
  9. Judo
  10. Futsal
  11. Brazilian jiu-jitsu

#1 Soccer

Soccer
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: Late 1800s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Brazil: PelΓ© (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Players in Brazil: 13 Million

Soccer, or football, is the undisputed king of sports in Brazil. It’s more than just a sport – it’s an integral part of the country’s culture and identity.

The Campeonato Brasileiro SΓ©rie A is Brazil’s premier soccer league, where top teams compete fiercely for the national title. No soccer conversation in Brazil would be complete without mentioning PelΓ©, the legendary player often considered the greatest of all time.

Brazil’s national team, with a record five FIFA World Cup victories, continues to capture the hearts of fans worldwide, solidifying the country’s status as a soccer powerhouse.

#2 Volleyball

Volleyball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: 1910s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Brazil: Giba (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Players in Brazil: 8 Million

Volleyball holds a special place in the hearts of Brazilians. The sport’s dynamic, fast-paced nature draws both casual and dedicated fans.

The Brazilian Superliga is the country’s highest level of volleyball competition, featuring electrifying games and unyielding talent. Giba, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, is a household name and a stellar performer in Brazilian volleyball history.

Both the men’s and women’s national teams have captured numerous international titles, including Olympic golds, making Brazil a dominant force in the world of volleyball.

#3 Basketball

Basketball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: 1910s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Brazil: Oscar Schmidt (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Players in Brazil: 1.2 Million

Basketball is a popular sport in Brazil, with both players and fans deeply passionate about the game.

The Novo Basquete Brasil (NBB) serves as the top-tier professional men’s basketball league in the country. Oscar Schmidt, a scoring sensation and Olympic legend, ranks as Brazil’s most famous basketball player.

Although the national team’s glory days might currently be in the past, Brazilian basketball remains a thriving sport, with talent development and enthusiasm consistently on the rise.

#4 Capoeira

Capoeira
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Invention: 16th Century
  • 🌟 Most Famous Practitioner from Brazil: Mestre Bimba (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Practitioners in Brazil: 6 Million

Capoeira, a unique Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music, is deeply rooted in the country’s history and culture.

Developed by African slaves in Brazil, Capoeira has since evolved into a global phenomenon. Mestre Bimba, a pioneer of the modern Capoeira style known as Capoeira Regional, is widely regarded as one of the most influential practitioners.

Though not a traditional competitive sport, Capoeira’s graceful movements and rhythmic flow continue to mesmerize followers, both in Brazil and around the world.

#5 Surfing

Surfing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Surfer from Brazil: Gabriel Medina (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Surfers in Brazil: 2.5 Million

Surfing is a wildly popular sport in Brazil, thanks to its extensive coastline and world-class waves. The sport’s exhilarating nature and vibrant culture have captivated the nation.

The Brazilian Surfing Championship, or CBSurf, showcases the best local talent, while international competitions like the World Surf League (WSL) draw enthusiastic viewers. Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina has made a significant mark on the sport, becoming the first Brazilian World Champion in surfing history.

From beautiful beaches to thrilling performances, surfing is undoubtedly an integral element in Brazil’s sporting culture and lifestyle.

#6 Swimming

swimming
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Swimmer from Brazil: Cesar Cielo (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Swimmers in Brazil: 4 Million

Swimming has long been a favored sport in Brazil, both for fitness and competition. The country boasts numerous promising swimmers who have excelled on the international stage.

The Maria Lenk Trophy is a significant event in Brazil’s swimming calendar, showcasing the nation’s top talents. Cesar Cielo, an Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder, is one of Brazil’s most decorated swimmers.

Brazilians’ passion for swimming continues to grow, inspiring the next generation of athletes to dive into the sport and make their mark globally.

#7 Athletics

Running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Brazil: Joaquim Cruz (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Brazil: 5 Million

Athletics holds a special place in Brazil’s sporting panorama, with countless enthusiasts engaging in various disciplines, from track and field to racewalking.

The Brazilian Athletics Confederation (CBAt) organizes numerous events and championships, nurturing homegrown talents. Joaquim Cruz, an Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters race, is an inspirational figure for aspiring Brazilian athletes.

Brazil’s participation and achievements in international athletics competitions, such as the Olympics, bolster the nation’s pride and passion for the sport.

#8 Handball

Handball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Brazil: Eduarda Amorim (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Players in Brazil: 500,000

Handball is a growing sport in Brazil, known for its fast-paced gameplay and strategic challenges, which attract a dedicated following.

The Brazilian Handball League serves as the nation’s premier handball competition, featuring intense matchups amongst the country’s best teams. Eduarda Amorim, a standout player nicknamed “Duda,” has garnered international accolades, elevating Brazil’s profile in the handball world.

Whether it’s local championships or international stages such as the Olympics, handball in Brazil continues to capture the nation’s imagination and nurture new talent.

#9 Judo

Judo
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: 1920s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Judoka from Brazil: Rafaela Silva (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Judokas in Brazil: 1 Million

Brazil has a long-standing tradition of embracing martial arts disciplines, and judo is no exception. As a sport that requires focus, discipline, and strategic thinking, it has attracted an expansive populace throughout the country.

The Brazilian Judo Confederation organizes numerous national championships and competitions, fostering talent and growth in the sport. Olympic gold medalist Rafaela Silva stands as one of Brazil’s most notable judokas, inspiring countless athletes to pursue the sport.

Brazil’s success and passion for judo continue to elevate the nation’s global standing as a judo powerhouse.

#10 Futsal

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Brazil: 1930s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Brazil: FalcΓ£o (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Players in Brazil: 2 Million

Futsal, a variant of soccer played on a smaller scale with five players on each team, is especially popular in Brazil. Its fast-paced nature and emphasis on individual skills make it a thrilling sport to both play and watch.

The Liga Nacional de Futsal (LNF) is the premier futsal league in Brazil, featuring exciting match-ups and fierce competition. Brazilian superstar FalcΓ£o is widely regarded as one of the greatest futsal players of all time, earning numerous accolades and international recognition.

Brazil’s futsal legacy continues to produce skilled players that captivate fans and elevate the sport on a global scale.

#11 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Invention: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Practitioner from Brazil: Gracie Family (Brazilian)
  • 🌍  Estimated Number of Practitioners in Brazil: 1.5 Million

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a ground-based martial art rooted in judo and Japanese jiu-jitsu, has become a defining symbol of Brazilian sports culture. The art’s cleverness, technique, and adaptability have captivated practitioners and spectators alike.

The Gracie Family, synonymous with the evolution of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has produced several renowned practitioners, such as HΓ©lio Gracie, Royce Gracie, and Rickson Gracie. Various tournaments and competitions, including the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, showcase the best talents in the sport.

With its widespread appeal and influence, Brazilian jiu-jitsu continues to shape the martial arts landscape not only in Brazil but across the world.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Brazil?

Soccer, also known as futebol, is the most popular sport in Brazil, deeply rooted in the nation’s culture and boasting an extensive fan base, with millions passionately supporting local and national teams.

What is the national sport of Brazil?

The national sport of Brazil is soccer (futebol), holding a significant position within the country’s cultural and sporting traditions and captivating the hearts of countless Brazilians.

What are the most watched sports in Brazil?

The most watched sports in Brazil include soccer (futebol), volleyball, basketball, mixed martial arts (MMA), Formula 1 racing, and surfing, each drawing substantial viewership and fan interest throughout 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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