Top 10 Greatest Sports Countries

I'm curious to know which countries come to mind when you hear the word 'sport'. Which countries are recognized for their sporting prowess, innovations, hosting of events, and sports teams?
The Top Ten
1 United States The United States of America, or the U.S.A. for short, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, 48 of them are contiguous states. There are two other states, Alaska and Hawaii, which are north and south of the contiguous states, respectively. The United States declared its independence from the... read more

The most powerful nation in the Olympics, besides the Soviet Union and China. The USA has a powerful baseball and basketball team in the world and has also been very successful at many other sports like swimming and shooting.

Undoubtedly, the USA is number one in sports. One obvious marker to support my claim is the fact that the US leads the world in Olympic medals, including gold medals. The nearest competitor, Russia, trails behind us by nearly 1000 medals! This is an unprecedented lead in world sports. Not only does the US lead in Olympic sports, but it also dominates championships held around the world.

Even in sports that are not well-known or even disliked in the States, such as soccer or "football," Americans have made significant strides. Although soccer is a sport that Americans only picked up in the 90s, we often play at a European soccer club level. I believe the only reason the US is not universally acknowledged as the top sports nation is due to recent anti-American sentiment. So, world, please be unbiased and place the US at number 1.

2 United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain is a Sovereign State located of the Northwestern coast of Europe. It is a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy currently lead by Monarch Queen Elizabeth II and its current prime minister is... read more

A country with a strong tradition of sport. They are one of the most sport-developed nations in Europe and often get in the top five in the Summer Olympics.

Cricket, football, tennis, golf, rugby union, rugby league, snooker, darts, squash, badminton, and Queensbury boxing rules, even the modern Olympics, were actually resurrected in Britain. A Frenchman visited Liverpool, England, in the early 1820s and was astonished by the variety of sports being played at various universities. Obviously, Greece invented the original Olympic Games.

However, most of the Olympic sport events we know today, in terms of their rules and events, were in fact developed in England. These games were also called the Olympics. The Frenchman returned home to recreate the Olympics he witnessed, leading to the version we know so well today.

Today, Britain participates in most of the world's elite sports and is in the top 10 rankings of most sporting events.

3 Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), Australia is the largest country by area in Oceania and... read more

New Zealanders love to say that Australia is only good at Cricket, but Australia excels in Cricket, Basketball, Rugby League, Netball, Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Field Hockey, Football, Cycling, and so much more. We aren't a one-sport country like New Zealand, who is only good at Rugby Union and stinks at everything else.

Looking at its population, Australia is surely the greatest sporting nation. Australia competes in truly international sports such as tennis, rugby, cricket, and of late, soccer. It has produced champions in swimming, golf, cycling, athletics, field hockey, Formula 1, and boxing. Australian women have one of the best soccer teams in the world.

Melbourne is considered a sporting mecca, hosting the Australian Open, Australian Grand Prix, and has also been an Olympic city. Australia has also produced champion surfers, has won the America's Cup, is home to the Australian Rules Football, and has qualified for the last couple of FIFA World Cups (even without having a league a few years back).

Although Australia is a dry continent, it has won medals in the Winter Olympics, which is a great achievement.

I would say, Australia is truly a global sporting nation.

4 Serbia Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south,... read more

Tennis, Basketball, Water Polo, Volleyball, 3v3 Basketball, Athletics, Taekwondo, Boxing, Wrestling, Shooting... there are more, but these are just sports where Serbia has won a lot of medals!

It is difficult to list all the sports in which Serbia is successful, and it is almost impossible to list individual Serbian athletes. And imagine, Serbia has only about 7 million inhabitants!

True, people here live mostly for sports, whether women, men, or kids. Serbia was the 2015 U20 football champions, won silver in men's basketball and bronze in women's basketball in Rio. We are currently doing well in Latvia and Serbia in water polo, having beaten Croatia twice in finals.

We win medals, titles, and championships multiple times, and even our clubs, like Red Star, beat Liverpool, the world's best club, this season.

5 Germany Germany was formally united in 1871 under the initiative of Bismarck with King Wilhelm of Prussia as emperor. The previous 'Holy Roman Empire', basically a continuation of the empire of Charlemagne/Karl der Grosse was dissolved in 1806... read more

A country with a strong tradition of sport, especially football. The men's team and women's team have become world champions for a total of six times. They often appear in the top 10 on the medal tally of both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Germany is a top football nation and performs pretty well in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Beyond that, I'm struggling to think of other areas. Maybe moustaches? Sausages? Oh, I forgot about Schumacher and Vettel, Becker and Stich, Langer, etc. I agree, Germany is a top 5 nation.

Yeah, I'm from India, but seriously, Germany deserves to be in this spot.

6 Brazil Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3,300,000 sq mi) and with over 214 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. Its capital is Brasília,... read more

Brazil has won first place in almost every sport there is. This includes all types of Soccer, MMA, Boxing, Volleyball, Basketball, Surfing, Racing, and many more. Pretty much every sport they try, they sooner or later excel at it, maybe not for long, but they win at least once.

Not a lot of countries can say that. For example, the USA has never won any soccer international competition on the men's side.

Most successful at football, by far the most popular sport in the world. Australia and the US are successful in sports nobody else plays, such as American and Australian football and baseball. Also, it is not fair to include winter sports in this discussion, since most countries are not suitable for them.

7 Spain Spain, or the Kingdom of Spain, is a country in southwestern Europe with parts of territory in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea. The largest part of Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula; its territory also includes the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Balearic Islands... read more

Spain, a small country with a population of 48 million, ranks in the world's top five in many important sports: Tennis, Basketball, Football, F1, Motorbikes, Handball, Sailing, Cycling, Hockey, and Skate Hockey. Spain has even produced World Champions in Badminton and Paddle.

Spain has only once been in the top ten medalist countries in the Olympic Games (Barcelona '92). This is because the Olympic Games include many minority sports and give the same value to a curling medal as a basketball medal.

Barcelona and Real have historically got their best players from South America, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, and Spain - it can't bear on the rankings. However, the national football team is very good. Tennis and Formula 1 as well. It's a shame about other world sports like cricket, rugby, and track and field. Seventh is about right.

8 New Zealand New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
It is situated 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington,... read more

NZ is not a 'one sport nation' as we are number one in rugby and rugby league and play a big role in minor sports such as rowing. What is wrong with being a one sport nation anyway? Eventually, we will develop in sports like football/soccer, but it isn't as popular here compared to rugby, which explains why we aren't a top team.

How can you compare us to a country like Australia? We only have a small population compared to the other top sporting nations. I do agree that Australia is a great sporting nation and is quite dominant in sports such as cricket, but we don't have to insult one another based on this.

9 France France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European part of France, called metropolitan France, extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to... read more

A country with a strong tradition of sport, especially football (2-time world champion until 2022). They also usually appear in the top 10 medal tally of the Olympics.

France is almost everywhere in sports. We have great national teams like in handball, football, basketball, and rugby. We are the host of one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments, the French Open, and the best cycling competition, Le Tour de France.

In summer and winter Olympics, we're always part of the elite nations.

Collective sports such as Handball, Rugby, Football, and Basketball and individual sports like Judo, Swimming, Skiing, and Race Driving: France is well-ranked in a lot of varied domains.

10 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area... read more

Also, a very powerful nation in the Olympics, especially in table-tennis. They have managed to get first place at the Asiad a lot and also top three recently.

People say China is not good at sports, but that is not true! We are the world's best country in many sports, including badminton, table tennis, volleyball, and diving.

Very good at sports, mostly because of their massive population. They excel in badminton, table tennis, volleyball, and basketball.

The Contenders
11 Canada Canada is a country in North America that is next to the United States, and it's the 2nd largest country in the world by area (size is 9.985 million km²). This country has 10 provinces, and 3 territories. Canada became a dominion on July 1, 1867. Its 10 provinces are: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec,... read more

Canada has more gold medals in hockey than the United States. Canada beats the USA in hockey. The USA has not won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics since 1980 and has not won the World Cup since 1996. We won the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and have 5 out of 7 World/Canada Cups. One went to Russia and the other to the States. Canada is better at hockey.

So, the USA has not won anything relevant since 1980 and 1996 when you exclude the World Juniors. The USA is just simply overrated. Also, they want to be better at everything. That seems kind of selfish, if you ask me. But anyways, seeing a Team USA hockey jersey disgusts me. Canada rules.

12 India India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. Its capital is New Delhi. Some other major cities are Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahemdabad... read more

India may not be considered a good sporting nation by Western standards, but no one can argue that it is drastically improving, and sports are slowly being recognized by parents. Now, I am an Australian who has a couple of very sporty Indian friends. Due to their culture, they want to take up professions like engineering and medicine.

If my friends wanted to pursue a sporting career, there is literally no doubt that they would be successful.

Talented, but obsession with academics is a curse. Whatever laurels were achieved, it was despite the government's lack of support. Sports culture is building up, but politicians run sports federations, and they often mismanage them.

Did you know they get more allowances than players to attend international meets? Politics and corruption need to be weeded out. Then, a sea change will happen.

13 Croatia Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia (independence since 1991), is a sovereign state at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb. It is a member of the European Union. During the Cold War it was part of Yugoslavia. It is a cultural... read more

Croatia, despite having just 4 million people and not being in the top 75 in terms of land area, is almost always silently within the top 10 in the world in any sport. They often beat the likes of the US, UK, Germany, etc., seemingly out of nowhere.

They are most well-known for their performances in soccer, where they routinely shock the world. They have beaten England, Brazil, Morocco, Japan, and even Russians using performance-enhancing substances. The list goes on.

Croatia is definitely the most underrated country when it comes to sports. They are just as deserving of the top spot as everyone else on this list.

14 Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe.

It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. At 450,295 square kilometers (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third-largest... read more

A country with a strong tradition of sport. They usually appear in the top 10 medal tally of the Winter Olympics, which is very impressive.

Sweden is a significant player for sure. I like Zlatan. I love Larson. But what else is there? Good performances in the Winter Olympics and a bit of ice hockey. Not bad for the size of the population.

Sweden is an incredible sports country, especially considering its population size. Just imagine having so many Olympic medals and being successful in major sports like football, hockey, handball, and athletics with such a small population!

15 Italy Italy (Italian: Repubblica Italiana) is a sovereign state and unitary parliamentary republic in south-central Europe.

Italy covers an area of 301,338 km². With almost 62 million inhabitants, it is the third most populous EU member state. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares... read more

Italy has produced stars like Nibali, Baresi, and Baggio. However, the country is nowhere in the Olympics and is a poor rugby nation. In terms of tennis and boxing, I can't think of any world stars. But the Italian passion for Calcio is undeniable, and for that reason alone, they are a top sporting nation.

This great country always seems to be in the mix. For instance, in the World Cup, Euro Cup, we are always in the top five in the Olympics, both summer and winter. Then there's the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and the list goes on.

The most versatile country in the sports world! There is not a sport that Italians do not succeed in!

16 Pakistan Pakistan was established in 1947 and is located in South Asia. Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar are other major cities of Pakistan. Urdu and English are the official languages of Pakistan. The world's second-highest peak (K-2) and ninth highest peak (Nanga Parbat)... read more

Well done at squash. I won the Morley poker tournament 16 times on the bounce. Now that was special. Average at cricket, okay at hockey. The two biggest sports events in the world, the World Cup and Summer Olympics - where are you? Nowhere even close.

The glory for you comes with beating India at cricket. Stay focused on that for now.

We may not be the best at anything currently, but our history is filled with great sports achievements in field hockey, squash, cricket, snooker, polo, and many others. We aren't a world force yet and likely won't be for some time, but we are certainly a regional force.

17 Jamaica Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119... read more

1. Jamaica is the sprint capital of the world. Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world.
2. Jamaica is ranked third in the world in Netball.
3. Jamaica has the best football team in the Caribbean.
4. Jamaica's Alia Atkinson is the first black female to win a gold medal in world record time in the women's 100m breaststroke at the FINA Championships.
5. Jamaica dominates track and field.

Jamaica, with only 2.8 million people, contributes top athletes to the UK, USA, and Canada. The country performs very well in boxing, netball, football, track and field, and swimming, earning the nickname "The Sprint Capital of the World."

18 Japan Japan is an island country in East Asia in the Pacific Ocean. It lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland (east of China, Korea, Russia) and stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and near Taiwan in the southwest... read more

Japan has won the World Baseball Classic twice since the tournament was created. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, they defeated Cuba in the finals, and in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Japan defeated South Korea in 10 innings to defend their title.

The national team is currently ranked number one in the world by the International Baseball Federation.

Baseball is currently the most popular spectator sport in the country. Japan's top professional league, now known as Nippon Professional Baseball, was established in 1936.

19 Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the island Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard... read more

A country with a strong tradition of sport. They usually become the leader at the medal tally of the Winter Olympics, which is extremely impressive.

Literally the best country in all things winter by an absolute landslide. They have twice the medals as the US in the Winter Olympics.

Norway is the number one in winter sports by a significant margin. This fact alone gives them a strong case for being in the top 10! There's also a lot of talent in Norway outside of winter sports.

Just look at the women's handball results over the last few years, which is arguably the only relevant handball.

20 Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also called Czechia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Czech Republic has a hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,871... read more
21 Russia Russia, or the Russian Federation (RF), is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17,125,191 square kilometres (6,612,073 sq mi), and encompassing one-eighth of Earth's inhabitable landmass. Russia extends across... read more

Russia has produced some good women's tennis players, albeit some have failed drug tests. The country's athletes have also had their share of issues. Russia is not very good at football, the world game, but performs well in the Winter Olympics and is good at ice hockey. Overall, it's a good sporting nation, but given the size of the population, it's somewhat disappointing.

Amazing at rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, tennis, and winter sports.

A very powerful nation in the Olympics, usually in the top three, even in and after the Soviet era.

22 Netherlands The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country located in north-western Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the... read more

The Netherlands, a very small country, consistently performs well at the Olympics and has awed many people in FIFA World Cups and in quite a few Winter Olympics. They have the best speed skaters in the world and outstanding hockey teams, both male and female. Moreover, this country has produced world record-breaking swimmers.

As a country with no mountains, yet still managing to win gold in snowboarding, it must be something special.

The Netherlands has always been one of the best countries in terms of sports. It is a small nation but has won a large number of medals and prizes. If all countries were the same size, then we'd see who really is the best.

23 Ireland Formed in 1916 after the Easter uprising, Ireland is a small country with a population of roughly 5 million.

Ireland has a population of 4.5 million. Let that sink in while you think about how many sports we dominate and will continue to dominate. Additionally, we have our own homegrown sports that are on another level of physicality. The clubs do not even pay their players. They do it for pride, and all the funds go back into the communities.

Ireland is one of the last remaining true sporting nations. The fact that they are not higher on this list is mind-boggling.

Ireland boasts the only undefeated MMA fighter in the world and is one of the best boxing nations on the planet. The country is decent at soccer and cricket and ranks third in the world in rugby.

Hurling and Gaelic football, being purely Irish sports, are the fastest field sports in the world and are Ireland's most popular sports.

24 Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic is a sovereign state occupying the Eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region.

Baseball was passed from generation to generation. It is the gift of our ancestors that we should treasure and excel in. That is why we are considered the best baseball country in the world.

We are good at baseball. We produce hundreds of Dominican baseball players in Major League Baseball, boasting the highest number of international players in Major League history.

God, Country, Liberty, and Baseball. That's what the Dominican Republic is all about. We love baseball and are very passionate about it.

25 Portugal Portugal (est.1152), officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes... read more
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