As you know, Spain excels in several sports globally. So, today we will talk about popular sports in Spain, as well as some important Spanish sportspeople.
FIND OUT ABOUT THE MOST POPULAR SPORTS IN SPAIN
Oh, dear football! We can tell how popular it is based on the number of teams, players, and real institutions around this sport. Football is a great moneymaker, as it gets a great bundle of euros moving every year with features ranging from game tickets to merchandising.
At least in Spain, the biggest clubs seem to be Barcelona and Real Madrid (with farm teams where such great players as Messi have developed). The national team usually has remarkable participation in events like the World Cup, the European Championship, and the Olympic Games.
The Spanish basketball league is called ACB (Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto or Basketball Club Association), also known as Liga Endesa. Teams such as Real Madrid Baloncesto, FC Barcelona Básquet, and also Catalonia-based Joventut Badalona has achieved notoriety and won several cups internationally.
Spanish players Pau and Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, and the Congolese-born, Spanish-naturalized Serge Ibaka, have landed positions with NBA teams. Also, the Spanish men and women national representations have performed spectacular roles, to the point that the men’s team are the current World and European champions (as of 2022).
Cycling has been prominent and one of the most popular sports in Spain since the 1940s. The Vuelta a España (the Spanish name for Tour of Spain) is one of the most important annual events in the world, along with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.
Collectively, they are referred to as Grand Tours. Several Spanish riders have won not only the Vuelta a España, but the other two tours. Spain has produced not a few mountain bikers of world relevance.
Spain has won the Davis Cup six times and the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly known as Fed Cup) on five occasions. Several female tennis players, from Arantxa Sánchez Vicario through Conchita Martínez and the current, Venezuelan-born Garbiñe Muguruza are Spanish citizens.
The Madrid Masters, the Barcelona Open, and the Mallorca Open are included in the ATP Tour, while the Madrid Masters is also a stage for the WTA Tour road.
Asobal is the premier handball league in Spain. For over three decades the men’s national teams have had remarkable participation in top-class tournaments, including three bronze medals in the Olympic Games and two World Championships (2005 and 2013).
Important teams in Asobal have been BM Ciudad Real, FC Barcelona Handbol, and Navarra-based Sociedad Deportiva Cultural San Antonio
Spain has had an important participation in both Formula One auto racing and Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Formula One became one of the most popular sports in Spain upon the championships by Fernando Alonso in the 2000s, while currently Marc Márquez and Joan Mir are leading motorcycle riders.
The Formula One’s Spanish Grand Prix is hosted in Montmeló, while in motorcycle racing several Grand Prix competitions, such as those of Catalonia, Valencia, Aragon, and the Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix, take place. There are also important racers in World Rally competitions.
In 2014, swimming had 17% of participation among Spaniards, while 11.9% of the Spanish citizens had an interest in this sport.
Several swimmers have represented the country at international competitions and tournaments, and synchronized swimmers enjoy a particular status based on their performances in events such as the Olympics, in which Spain is always a serious contender.
Athletics does not seem to be as regarded as other sports (football, basketball, tennis), but from time to time it rises to notoriety if there are ongoing events that involve the participation of Spanish athletes. This does not stop the country from building several athletics facilities, like the Estadi Olímpic Lluis Companys (Barcelona), which was inaugurated in 1927 and was one of the venues for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Unlike athletics, rhythmic gymnastics is very popular in all of Spain. The country tends to be more successful with a group rather than individual competitions. Thereby, the Spanish team won the gold medal in Atlanta 1996 and has performed really well ever since.
Spain is the second international power at futsal only after Brazil, with two World Championships and six UEFA Futsal Championships. As in football, teams in the Spanish futsal league are divided into divisions, and those in the top division play each team twice.
Teams compete in a domestic tournament called Copa del Rey, and those who perform best get to play in an all-around Supercopa de España.
Even though it was invented in Mexico, padel (pronounced pádel, from the English word paddle) is considered one of the famous sports of Spain along with Basque pelota. Nowadays, the most important padel circuit is the World Padel Tour, which started in Spain and has travelled, as of 2014, to Portugal, Argentina, etc.
FAMOUS SPANISH SPORTS PLAYERS
Let us finish this article by naming some important Spanish sportspeople. Among others, we can mention Rafa Nadal (tennis), Fernando Alonso (Formula One car racing), Miguel Indurain (cycling), Iker Casillas (football), Severiano Ballesteros (golf), Gemma Mengual (synchronized swimming), Virginia Berasategui (triathlon), Elsa Baquerizo (beach volley), and many others.
It is important to note that Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch had a very long term as the seventh president of the International Olympic Committee, from 1980 to 2001, so he had to wrestle with boycotts, doping, and other issues of the modern Olympic Games.
We hope this article is educational for you… And also keep enjoying sports. Mens sana in corpore sano.