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Have you ever wondered what drives the passion of Greeks?

It’s not just their ancient history or delicious cuisine!

In Greece, soccer reigns supreme among sports.

But what other sports capture the hearts of Greeks?

Discover the 11 most popular sports in Greece in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Greece:

  1. Soccer
  2. Basketball
  3. Handball
  4. Athletics
  5. Water Polo
  6. Volleyball
  7. Swimming
  8. Weightlifting
  9. Wrestling
  10. Sailing
  11. Rowing

#1 Soccer

Soccer
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Early 1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Greece: Giorgos Karagounis (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Greece: 1 Million

Soccer holds a special place in the hearts of Greeks. Its passionate following and rich history make it the most popular sport in the country.

The Greek Super League is the nation’s top professional soccer league, featuring fierce competition among clubs. Giorgos Karagounis, former captain of the national team, is a celebrated figure in Greek soccer.

The most memorable moment in Greek soccer was undoubtedly the national team’s unexpected victory at the UEFA Euro 2004. This triumph solidified soccer’s prominence in Greece’s sports culture and remains a source of pride.

#2 Basketball

Basketball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: 1930s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Greece: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Greece: 350,000

Basketball enjoys immense popularity in Greece, with its thrilling pace and intensity. The sport has produced notable talent and witnessed significant growth over the years.

The Greek Basket League is the country’s foremost basketball league, featuring competitive action throughout the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, stands as a symbol of Greek basketball success.

Greek basketball fans passionately support domestic clubs such as Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, known for their fierce rivalry. Basketball remains a key element in the Greek sports landscape.

#3 Handball

Handball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Greece: Dimitrios Tzimourtos (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Greece: 50,000

Handball has gained considerable popularity in Greece over recent decades. The sport is appreciated for its fast-paced gameplay and tactical challenges, drawing in large audiences.

The Greek Handball Championship, the country’s top-tier league, showcases intense competition between clubs. Dimitrios Tzimourtos, former captain of the national team, is a well-regarded figure in Greek handball.

Although Greece has yet to achieve major international success in handball, the national team’s appearances in various championships and Olympic games keep the sport’s interest alive and continuously growing.

#4 Athletics

Running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Ancient Times
  • 🌟Most Famous Athlete from Greece: Katerina Stefanidi (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Greece: 1.2 Million

Athletics has deep historical roots in Greece, dating back to the original Olympic Games in ancient times. It remains a prominent part of the nation’s sporting culture today.

Greece hosts various prestigious athletic events, including the Athens Classic Marathon and numerous track and field meetings. Katerina Stefanidi, an Olympic and World Champion pole vaulter, is revered among Greek athletes.

Athletics in Greece encompasses a wide range of disciplines and competitions, attracting devotees from all walks of life. With a strong foundation in history and a continuous stream of talented athletes, the sport retains its significance in Greek sports culture.

#5 Water Polo

Water Polo
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: 1920s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Greece: Georgios Afroudakis (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Greece: 10,000

Water polo in Greece is a sport with a significant following, thanks to its combination of strategy, physicality, and aquatic skills. Greek teams have achieved notable success on the international stage, including the national team and club sides.

The premier competition in Greece is the Greek Water Polo Championship, where clubs vie for the title and showcase tremendous talent. Georgios Afroudakis, a key player in Greece’s water polo success, is a respected figure in the sport.

With achievements such as the national team’s silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, the sport continues to thrive and maintain a passionate fan base in Greece.

#6 Volleyball

Volleyball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: 1930s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Greece: Konstantinos Christofidelis (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Greece: 150,000

Volleyball holds a prominent position in Greece’s sporting landscape, with a rich history and passionate following. The sport’s blend of athleticism, agility, and team dynamics makes it a popular choice for players and spectators alike.

The Greek Volleyball Championship is the top-tier league in the country, featuring high-quality action and excitement throughout the season. Konstantinos Christofidelis, a standout player and national team star, is a leading figure in Greek volleyball.

The sport’s popularity in Greece is bolstered by the national team’s various appearances in international competitions, as well as the presence of accomplished domestic clubs.

#7 Swimming

Swimming
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Ancient Times
  • 🌟Most Famous Swimmer from Greece: Spyridon Gianniotis (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimmers in Greece: 500,000

Swimming in Greece dates back to ancient times, deeply rooted in the country’s history and culture. With its numerous picturesque coastlines and a strong focus on aquatic sports, swimming continues to be a popular pastime and competitive sport.

Greek swimmers have represented their country with pride in various international events, including the Olympics and World Championships. Spyridon Gianniotis, an open water swimming champion and Olympic medalist, stands out as a renowned figure in modern Greek swimming.

With top-tier competitors and passionate fans, swimming maintains an essential role in Greece’s sports spectrum.

#8 Weightlifting

Weightlifting
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Early 20th Century
  • 🌟Most Famous Weightlifter from Greece: Pyrros Dimas (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Weightlifters in Greece: 20,000

Weightlifting in Greece combines power, discipline, and technique, making it a captivating sport for both athletes and enthusiasts. The country has a strong tradition in the sport, producing numerous Olympic champions and world-class competitors.

The Greek Weightlifting Federation organizes national championships, fostering growth and development for both male and female athletes. Pyrros Dimas, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, is a legendary figure in Greek weightlifting.

With continued investments in training facilities and a dedicated fan base, weightlifting in Greece keeps producing champions, reflecting its enduring significance in the nation’s sports tradition.

#9 Wrestling

Wrestling
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Ancient Times
  • 🌟Most Famous Wrestler from Greece: Ioannis Arzoumanidis (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Wrestlers in Greece: 15,000

Wrestling in Greece has a rich history, tracing back to the Ancient Olympic Games. The sport is rooted in Greek culture and has maintained its place in the country’s sports scene.

The Greek Wrestling Federation oversees championships and supports the growth of both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Ioannis Arzoumanidis, a promising wrestler and European Championships medalist, represents the contemporary face of Greek wrestling.

From amateur clubs to international competitions, wrestling in Greece is widely practiced and appreciated. The sport’s cultural significance and historical legacy contribute to its continued prominence in the nation.

#10 Sailing

Sailing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Ancient Times
  • 🌟Most Famous Sailor from Greece: Sofia Bekatorou (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Sailors in Greece: 100,000

Sailing in Greece has its origins in the country’s ancient history and storied maritime traditions. With countless islands, crystal clear waters, and excellent wind conditions, the sport is a natural fit for Greeks.

Competitive sailing in Greece is embodied by athletes like Sofia Bekatorou, who won an Olympic gold medal in the 2004 Games. Various national and international sailing events take place in Greece, including the Aegean Rally and the Rhodes Cup Regatta.

Sailing in Greece is enjoyed both recreationally and professionally by locals and visitors alike. The sport’s deep historical roots and favorable conditions continue to attract enthusiasts of all skill levels.

#11 Rowing

Rowing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Greece: Late 19th Century
  • 🌟Most Famous Rower from Greece: Nikolaos and Apostolos Gountoulas (Greek)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Rowers in Greece: 12,000

Rowing in Greece is a sport that combines strength, endurance, and teamwork. Its popularity has increased in recent years, with numerous clubs and training facilities emerging across the country.

The Greek Rowing Championship represents the country’s rowing pinnacle, showcasing the talent of a growing number of dedicated rowers. Nikolaos and Apostolos Gountoulas, the famous Greek rowing brothers, have earned numerous accolades in international competitions.

Rowing in Greece has developed into a thriving sport, supported by a committed community focused on nurturing talent and pushing for success at national and international events.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Greece?

Soccer, also known as football, holds the title of the most popular sport in Greece, attracting massive support and deeply embedded in the country’s cultural and athletic values.

What is the national sport of Greece?

The national sport of Greece is soccer (football), reflecting the country’s passion for the game and its widespread appeal among the population.

What are the most watched sports in Greece?

In Greece, the most watched sports include soccer (football), basketball, handball, athletics, water polo, volleyball, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, sailing, and rowing, all contributing to the diverse sporting landscape of 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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