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Popular Sports in Spain

A country that is renowned for its sun, beaches, nightlife and ancient cultures, many people seem to forget that Spain is home to some of the most victorious sports teams in the world. Let’s take the Spanish football team, for example. They won the World Cup in 2010. Then two years later, they defeated Italy 4-0 to win the European Championships. Due to Spain having such great settings and historic architecture, it has also become a fantastic country to host such events. World Cups, Olympic Games, Grand Prixs and tennis championships have all been held in Spain. Why not? It has good weather year round and a fantastic culture that people will pay to experience. So what can you expect in the way of sports on your Spanish holiday? Let’s have a look at some of the popular sports and how you can experience them in a real Spanish way.

Spain Flag

Football

As with the majority of European countries, football is by far the most dominant sport in Spain and has been for a long time. The country hosts the world famous La Liga of which a large chunk of the greatest players and teams play in. The likes of the famous Christiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and the renowned Lionel Messi of Barcelona are just some of the big names, along with hundreds of other up and coming players and the numerous stars who join the league each year from other countries. If you are visiting Spain during the football season, you should try your best to buy some tickets to watch a football match. I can guarantee that it will be one of the highlights of your trip, even if you are not a football fan! You will get to experience the great passion the Spaniards have for the sport and soak up the atmosphere of the stadium, which is said to be amongst the best in the world.

Formula One (F1)

If you ever wanted to know how the Spanish feel about Formula 1, then you should check out the crowd’s reaction, as the only Spaniard in this year’s F1 championship took the flag to win the Spanish Grand Prix. It was a huge win for Fernando Alonso who over recent years has taken the already huge popularity of F1 in Spain to a whole new level. The fans and his people love him. He has had regular success in his career, winning two world championships and coming second in 2010, 2012 and 2013. This is another sport the Spanish are passionate about. Watching the F1 makes a great day out in the sun and is highly recommended even if it is a little pricey.

Tennis

Another sport that is very popular in Spain is tennis. Spain has produced several world champions, including Rafael Nadal who is up there with some of the greatest tennis players ever. Rafael has been a key figure in improving the popularity of tennis over the years and will go down in history in Spain as a true great. He has won numerous tournaments, including eight Roland Garros titles, which is the infamous clay court in Spain along with several French Opens and the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. One of the major factors that have led to Spain producing so many high caliber players is the tennis development academies that are frequent throughout the country. They cater to children of all ages where they are nurtured to their full potential, often by ex-champions that have retired from the game.

Handball

If you ask the average Joe what hand ball is, they may say they have heard of it, but I am sure most would not be able to describe the aim of the game, let alone the rules and how it should be played.  Despite this, it seems to be a flourishing sport in Spain where already they have earned themselves eight medals in the top flight tournaments. The Olympics are included in these tournaments, and several Spanish teams have won or been runners up in the EHF Champions League, which is the biggest handball competition in Europe. The Spanish people are a very proud and passionate people, and this doesn’t differ in sport. You will be able to experience this if you watch a game. So if you’re in the country on one of your Spanish holidays and have the opportunity to watch some sort of sporting event, you should definitely go.
By-Line:
Ariana Louis is both a keen traveller and also a sports enthusiast and loves to do both with her family. Ariana has travelled all over the world and shares her thoughts, ideas and experiences in the articles and blogs that she writes. Ariana will often use the services of Travel Republic when she is looking to book a trip abroad.

photo credit: GonchoA