Spain’s favourite sports

Sporting trends in Spain

Young couple running. Credit: Jacek Chabraszewski/

A new survey has revealed the most popular sports in Spain, for both participants and spectators.

A comprehensive study by Spsg Consulting unveiled the sporting preferences across Spain in 2023, showing a clear inclination towards certain activities.

Participants: Sporting preferences unveiled

The findings, derived from over a thousand participants, reveal that 22.5 per cent favour running, significantly outpacing other sports. Football was the next choice, with 17.9 per cent participation, closely followed by swimming at 17.6 per cent.

These figures highlight the dominant sports trends in Spain last year, with cycling also making a notable appearance in fourth place with 13.7 per cent.

A shift in trends

2023 saw a concentration in the popularity of a few sports, with traditional activities gaining momentum. Running surged back to levels seen in 2021, capturing over 20 per cent interest.

However, football’s participation slightly decreased, trailing by two percentage points from its 2021 peak. On the other hand, CrossFit emerged as a revelation, claiming 3.5 per cent of respondents, an increase from previous years. Similarly, athletics saw a rise, from 3.6 per cent in 2021 to 5.6 per cent in 2023.

One surprising statistic saw golf quite low in the results, gathering only 1.6 per cent of those who were quizzed.

 Gender preferences

The study also highlighted gender disparities in sports choices. Men predominantly preferred running, football, cycling, and paddle tennis, whereas women showed a greater inclination towards swimming.

Specifically, 24.8 per cent of men chose running over 19.6 per cent of women. Football saw a significant gender gap, with 26.4 per cent of men participating compared to 7.5 per cent of women.

Spectator vs participant

Interestingly, the sports that captured the most attention did not necessarily correlate with participation levels.

Football led as the most followed sport, with an 83 per cent viewership. Basketball at 39 per cent and tennis with 38 per cent were also popular among spectators.

Motor sports also feature strongly with Formula 1 claiming 18 per cent and motorcycling with 11 percent.

The contrast underscores a distinct separation between spectatorship and active participation in sports within Spain.

In conclusion, the 2023 Barometer of Sporting Habits in Spain by Spsg Consulting has provided insightful revelations into the sports that captivate and engage the Spanish population.

With running, football, and swimming leading the charge, it’s clear that while some sports enjoy widespread participation, others command a vast audience of spectators.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.