Sports in Argentina

Argentina football
Updated on 16 July, 2018

Sports have a very important place in Argentine society, with several disciplines, including swimming, soccer, rugby, volleyball and basketball being practised by locals and foreigners alike. There are golf courses, gyms and sports centres in almost all major cities and you can become a member in a club in by paying a monthly fee, which grants you use of all the necessary equipment and facilities. You can also take part in casual friendly matches, which are held on a regular basis.


Football is undoubtedly the most important sport in Argentina. The national football team was crowned world champion twice thanks to the exploits of the legendary footballer Diego Maradona, who has since passed the torch to the famous Lionel Messi. If you love football and you are in Buenos Aires, do not miss the opportunity to attend a Superclásico, i.e. a match between rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. The atmosphere at these games is simply electric.


Rugby, which was introduced by the British in 1870, is now a widely practised sport in Argentina. Their national team, the Pumas, is a first-class team, regularly participating in the Rugby World Cup. They got to the finals in the most recent edition (2015), having beaten Ireland and Australia. Rugby matches are held almost every weekend and, should you wish to get involved, you can join one of the country's many rugby clubs.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with Polo, it is an elegant sport in which riders on horseback push a wooden ball to the opponent's camp using a mallet. Argentina is widely regarded as the best in the world; most of the top polo players of all time are Argentinian. There is a culture of horses in the country, which could explain why polo is so popular, plus the natural conditions of the land make breeding polo horses very easy. Several polo tournaments are held throughout the year, with the grand finale taking place in December.


You can enjoy many watersports, including water skiing, sailing, kayaking and white water rafting, in certain parts of the country, such as Tigre, Santa Fé and Corrientes, all of which are conveniently located on the banks of the Paraná River. Then there's Mar del Plata, Argentina's most famous beach, a busy resort with every kind of watersport on offer. Down south, in Patagonia, you also have the Lake District, which is home to some of the country's most spectacular scenery. People come here to fish and enjoy the cool, fresh landscapes created by the forests and lakes of Argentina's largest national park.

Motor Racing

Argentina is home to the longest-running race series in the world, the Turismo Carretera (road tourism), a major annual event that originated with fearless Argentinians engaging in a long race on public roads. Motor races further increased in popularity in Argentina thanks to Juan Manuel Fangio, who was world champion of the Grand Prix five times in the 1950s. Argentines are also fans of the gruelling Dakar rally, which has been held in South America since 2009.

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