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Ever wondered about the vibrant pulse of Chile?

It’s not just in its empanadas or pisco!

When it comes to sports in Chile, soccer dominates the scene.

But what else fuels Chilean passion?

Discover the most popular sports in Chile in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Chile:

  1. Soccer
  2. Tennis
  3. Basketball
  4. Handball
  5. Rugby Union
  6. Golf
  7. Rodeo
  8. Volleyball
  9. Cycling
  10. Roller Hockey
  11. Cricket

#1 Soccer

Soccer
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: Late 1800s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Alexis Sánchez (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 2.5 Million

Soccer holds a special place in Chilean hearts, being deeply ingrained in the nation’s culture and garnering a passionate following. The Chilean Primera División, the country’s top-tier soccer league, witnesses fierce competition and enthusiastic fans supporting their favorite clubs.

Alexis Sánchez, a world-class forward, has put Chile on the global soccer map with his impressive skills and success in international leagues. The Chilean national team’s consecutive Copa América victories in 2015 and 2016 have cemented their status as a formidable soccer force in South America. Soccer’s prevalence in Chile is unwavering, marked by historic achievements and vibrant fan culture.

#2 Tennis

Tennis
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: Early 1900s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Nicolás Massú (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 500,000

Tennis is a popular sport in Chile, with a rich history of achievements and a strong pool of talented players. Chilean tennis events, such as the Chile Open, capture the attention of fans nationwide, who cheer for both local and international stars.

Nicolás Massú, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is one of Chile’s most celebrated tennis players, inspiring the next generation of athletes. Although tennis may not be as dominant as soccer in Chile, its status as a beloved sport with a growing community of players and supporters remains steadfast.

#3 Basketball

Basketball
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: 1920s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Patricio Briones (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 250,000

Basketball has found an appreciative audience in Chile, where people enjoy both playing and watching the sport. The Liga Nacional de Básquetbol is Chile’s premier basketball league, and local teams fiercely compete in exciting match-ups.

Patricio Briones, recognized for his international career success, is a widely admired Chilean basketball icon. Chile’s national basketball team has enjoyed impressive moments in history, including a third-place finish in the 1950 World Championships. The sport’s popularity in Chile continues to grow, particularly among younger generations.

#4 Handball

Handball
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: 1960s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Marco Oneto (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 100,000

Handball is another prominent sport in Chile, offering an exciting mix of fast-paced action and strategic gameplay. The Liga Nacional de Balonmano is Chile’s top handball league, featuring talented teams and passionate fan bases.

Chilean handball player Marco Oneto has made a name for himself in European leagues, raising the profile of the sport back home. Although the Chilean national team has yet to reach the same heights as their soccer counterparts, handball’s popularity in Chile is evident, and the sport continues to foster local talent and enthusiasm.

#5 Rugby Union

Rugby
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: 1880s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Rodrigo Tobar (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 60,000

Rugby Union has gradually cemented its place in Chile’s sports scene, offering a thrilling combination of physical grit and tactical acumen. The sport captivates audiences with fiercely contested matches and a strong sense of camaraderie.

Chile’s club rugby competitions showcase the country’s burgeoning talent pool, while its national team, Los Cóndores, compete internationally with heart and determination. Chilean rugby player Rodrigo Tobar is known for his impressive career in Europe, contributing to the sport’s popularity back home.

With growing participation and support, Rugby Union’s foothold in Chile is undeniable, as more fans embrace the sport’s unique spirit and excitement.

#6 Golf

Golf
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: Early 1900s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Felipe Aguilar (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 70,000

Golf may not enjoy the same widespread popularity as soccer and tennis in Chile, but it nonetheless boasts a dedicated and growing fan base. Chile’s picturesque landscape and favorable climate provide excellent conditions for golf.

Felipe Aguilar, a professional golfer with multiple international tournament wins, has raised the profile of Chilean golf on the global stage. Events like the Chile Open further fuel the sport’s growth in popularity.

While golf’s presence in Chile may not yet match its soccer and tennis counterparts, its expanding community of players and enthusiasts speaks to the sport’s growing appeal and potential.

#7 Rodeo

Rodeo
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: 1700s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Rodeo Rider from Chile: Ramón Cardemil (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Rodeo Enthusiasts in Chile: 400,000

Chilean rodeo has deep cultural roots and holds a special place in the country’s sporting traditions. Celebrating their rural heritage, Chileans flock to their local “medialuna” or rodeo arena to witness exciting competitions and skilled riders.

Ramón Cardemil, a seven-time Chilean rodeo champion, is a highly revered figure in the sport’s history. The annual Campeonato Nacional de Rodeo, held in Rancagua, attracts spectators from all over the country, who gather to pay tribute to the country’s rural roots and horsemanship.

Chilean rodeo’s historical and cultural significance makes it an enduring fixture in Chile’s sports landscape.

#8 Volleyball

Volleyball
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: 1912
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Priscila Pino (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Chile: 150,000

Volleyball is a popular pastime in Chile, with both indoor and beach formats enjoying strong followings. The sport’s fast pace, teamwork, and accessibility make it a favorite among players and spectators alike.

Prominent players, such as Priscila Pino, have represented Chile at international levels, inspiring the next generation of volleyball enthusiasts. National leagues and tournaments draw attention from fans, while beach volleyball events showcase the country’s scenic coastal beauty.

Volleyball continues to thrive, cementing its status as one of Chile’s most popular sports, enjoyed by communities of all ages and backgrounds.

#9 Cycling

Track Cycling
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: Late 1800s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Cyclist from Chile: Carlos Oyarzún (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Cycling Enthusiasts in Chile: 900,000

Cycling, both as a sport and a means of transportation, has a strong presence in Chile. The country’s diverse landscapes and well-maintained trails make it an attractive destination for cycling enthusiasts.

Carlos Oyarzún, an accomplished road racing cyclist, has represented Chile in multiple international events, raising the sport’s profile in the country. Chileans enjoy watching and participating in cycling races, such as the Vuelta Ciclista de Chile, showcasing the nation’s passion for the sport.

With a growing community of riders and ongoing support, cycling continues to flourish in Chile, appealing to both competitive athletes and recreational riders.

#10 Roller Hockey

Roller hockey
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: 1940s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Felipe Castro (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Roller Hockey Players in Chile: 10,000

Roller hockey has carved a niche in Chile’s sports scene, providing a fast and exciting alternative to more traditional team sports. Chile’s national roller hockey team has earned international recognition, highlighting the country’s commitment to the sport.

Felipe Castro, a standout roller hockey player, has represented Chile on the international stage, garnering attention and admiration back home. Leagues and tournaments, such as the Liga Nacional de Hockey Patín, showcase the sport’s growing popularity.

While roller hockey may not match the prominence of soccer or tennis, its fan base in Chile is steadily growing, fostering excitement and local talent in the sport.

#11 Cricket

Cricket (women’s)
  • 📅 (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Chile: Early 1900s
  • 🌟  Most Famous Player from Chile: Ian Walker (Chilean)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Cricket Enthusiasts in Chile: 5,000

Cricket may be a lesser-known sport in Chile, but it has a dedicated following among expats and locals who appreciate the sport’s unique blend of strategy and skill. The passionate cricket community in Chile is centered around clubs in Santiago and other urban areas.

Chilean cricketer Ian Walker has contributed to raising awareness of the sport within the country. The Chilean national cricket team competes in regional and international events, helping to establish its place in the nation’s sports landscape.

While cricket’s popularity in Chile may not rival that of soccer or tennis, the sport’s dedicated fan base and growing community ensure its continued presence and development.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Chile?

Soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in Chile, deeply rooted in the country’s culture and enjoyed by a passionate following, with millions of fans and players nationwide.

What is the national sport of Chile?

The national sport of Chile is soccer (football), as it holds a significant place in the country’s cultural and sporting traditions, and is supported by a vast majority of the population.

What are the most watched sports in Chile?

The most watched sports in Chile are soccer (football), followed by tennis, basketball, handball, rugby union, golf, rodeo, volleyball, cycling, roller hockey, and cricket, each attracting substantial viewership and fan bases across 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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