Sports in Spain
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Updated 2 months ago

As with many countries, playing and watching sports are extremely popular activities in Spain. Football is the most popular sporting activity, but others such as tennis, basketball, golf and swimming are also widely played. If you settle in the country, you'll have a wide choice of sports to watch and play. 

Spain's well-developed sporting infrastructure includes modern stadiums, championship golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts and all the facilities you would expect of a modern European nation. If you can't attend big sporting events, watch them on TV.

Perhaps you’ll want to get behind the national squads of your adopted country. Spain regularly takes part in many international tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics and the Davis Cup.

Football

Football is more than just a game; it is a way of life for many fans. The Spanish are very enthusiastic about football, whether attending matches or watching them at home or with friends in a bar. 

La Liga is the men's top league and reputed to be one of the best in the world. It consists of 20 teams with the three lowest placed sides at the end of the season relegated to the Segunda (Second) Division. Among the country's most popular teams are Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Deportivo de la Coruna and Valencia CF.

Spanish football teams also take part in the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Europa League and the Champions League.

Basketball

Basketball is almost as popular as football in the country. The top Spanish League is Liga ACB, and teams compete domestically and in a European league and a European cup. Many matches are broadcast on TV. There are 18 teams in the Liga ACB and the bottom two at the end of the season are relegated to the LEB Oro.

Tennis

No matter where you're located, you should have easy access to tennis courts. Tennis is a popular sport in Spain, and millions follow and have followed the fortunes of past and current Spanish players such as Rafael Nadal, "Arantxa" Sánchez Vicario and David Ferrer.

Paddle tennis is also a prominent racquet sport. It was adapted from tennis and takes place on a smaller court with walls, which are played off, just like squash.

Golf

Many parts of the country boast a perfect climate for golf. There are lush green courses all over Spain, some with glorious sea and mountain views. If this is your sport, it's a good idea to apply for membership to one of the clubs near you.

Sports for thrill-seekers in Spain

Spain's coastal areas, national parks and wilderness areas support lots of activities for those who want to get the adrenaline pumping. They include mountaineering, skiing, rafting, karting, paragliding and water sports such as surfing, jet skiing and windsurfing. There is also an array of great scuba diving sites in the Atlantic Ocean in the country's north and in the Mediterranean in the south.

Bullfighting in Spain

Bullfighting still attracts large crowds in some parts of the country with devotees considering it an art form. However, its popularity has been declining for decades as critics denounce its treatment of animals. Dozens of towns have banned the activity as has the entire region of Catalonia.

Motor racing in Spain

Motor car and motorbike racing are also popular. Every year the country hosts the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. Other major events include the Euroformula Open Championship (formerly known as the Spanish Formula Three Championship).

 Useful links:

La Liga
Liga ACB
Go Tarifa
Spain.info

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