There’s no doubt that soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world. With billions of fans, thousands of clubs and players, as well as some of the very largest sporting events in the world, soccer holds the crown for being more popular than just about any sport.
But when we break it down, just how popular is soccer per country, and how has its popularity changed the nature of the sporting world in that country? Here we will look at the popularity of soccer per country and what those numbers mean for the sport.
Where Soccer Is The Most Popular
In terms of overall popularity in sheer numbers, it would be the most well-loved sport in the country of China. In fact, in terms of overall numbers, there are 187 million people that have reported an interest in the sport. But this doesn’t necessarily give us an idea of the percentage of the population that have a love of soccer. When we factor that in, then the country with the highest percentage of soccer fans would be the United Arab Emirates.
Reported numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, however, and there are many other factors to consider. These include the passion of the fans, the overall interest in the sport, and the relationship between the teams and the fans, as well as how influential the clubs are.
Where It’s Played
With the exception of the United States of America, soccer is played essentially everywhere in the world, with an estimated 200 countries that have it as a national pastime. This doesn’t mean that the sport can be found being played on every square inch of a specific country, but rather that it has a large enough following that it’s a proper pastime.
In terms of the number of fans of soccer based on a country, China leads the pack, but India is not too far behind with 125 million fans in total. As mentioned above, the percentages of fans give a much clear image of the popularity of the sport, which can also be seen with other pastimes, such as playing at online casinos in Canada.
In the United Arab Emirates, around 80% of the population has an interest in soccer, followed closely by Thailand at 78%. Next up is Chile with 75%, which equal to Portugal. The percentages carry on in this fashion until we reach countries like Singapore, where less than half of the total population has an interest in soccer, with the USA being one of the very lowest on the roster.
Money is also an important factor when looking at popularity, and it’s part of the reason that the UAE is so high on the list. Many of the most generous sponsors of global soccer are based in the UAE, including such benefactors as Sheikh Mansour, who is a famous member of the Abu Dhabi royal family. He currently owns City Football Group, which also happens to own Manchester United, among other clubs.