1. United States of America


Dominant in major interest sports such as Basketball (winning the 2014 world cup), American Football and Baseball, as well as strongest in a range of sports including Golf, Athletics and MMA.  They were no.1 in the medal table at the last Olympics.

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2. Germany


World cup winners and no.1 ranked at the biggest global sport, Soccer, as well as having 2 of the top 5 F1 racers in the final standings.  They are strong in a number of other major sports, including tennis, Ice Hockey and Athletics.

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3. United Kingdom


Have current F1 world champion in Lewis Hamilton and world golf no.1, in Rory Mcilroy as well as excelling at a range of major sports including Cycling, Cricket and Rugby.  There were no.3 in the medal table at the last Olympics


4. Spain


Despite losing early in the World Cup, they continue to have a top 10 ranked soccer team and no.2 ranked basketball team, as well as having individuals such as French open tennis holder Nadal and Moto GP champion Marquez.  

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5. France


Quarter finalists in the football world cup and semi-finalists in the basketball world cup, as well as finalists in Davis Cup Tennis.  They are strong in a number of other sports, including having the Rally world champion

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6. Russia


Reigning Ice Hockey world champions, and 1st in Winter Olympic Medal list, as well as 4th in the last summer olympic equivalent.   Strongest in a number of sports such as wrestling, biathlon and weightlifting


7. Australia


Good across a range of sports.  They are current Rugby League and Field Hockey World Champions, no.1 in the one-day cricket rankings, have 2 of top 10 golfers and won the 6th most medals in the last summer olympics.


8. Argentina


World Cup finalists at Soccer in 2014 and 3rd ranked at Basketball.  Together with decent tennis players, they rank highly on the world's biggest sports.  They are also strong at Field Hockey and Rugby Union  


9. Italy


Strong at Football, Tennis and Volleyball, they also have the current Tour De France winner, Vincenzo Nibali, as well as legendary Moto GP rider, Valentino Rossi.


10. Japan


They have the 2nd ranked baseball team behind the US, as well as excelling at Judo, Figure Skating, Gymnastics and volleball.  They also have 5 world boxing champions and won 6th most medals in the last Olympics.


11. Brazil


World cup semi-finalists at soccer and quarter-finalists at basketball.  They also are the only country apart from the US to have UFC world champions and are the no.1 ranked mens volleyball team.


The following list calculates the top sporting nations, updated at the end of 2014.  It attempts to implement a stastical riguour with countries ranked for women and men separately on each of the 55 biggest global sports, as defined by daily media coverage in major countries on this website.  Where robust ranking systems are not existent in a sport, number of medals at the last major world championship and olympics are amalgamated to gain a ranking (or for example in the case of motor sport, the last world series).  The rankings are then weighted by size of sport to form a comprehensive list ot the world's best current sporting nations.

12. Canada


They are the strongest country in the world at Ice Hockey, as well as curling.  They are also strong at baseball and have top 10 ranked players at both mens and womens tennis.  They were 3rd in the last winter olypmics medal table.


13. China


2nd in the last summer olympic medal table, China is strongest at a number of mid-level sports including Table Tennis, Badmington and diving, as well as strong gymnasts and swimmers.  Lower down list due to less strength in biggest team sports.


14. The Netherlands


Semi-finalists in the 2014 soccer world cup, current women's field hockey world champions and winners of the last baseball world cup.  They also have great cyclists and the leading country in the world at speed skating.


15. Czeck Republic


Semi-finalists in the world Ice Hockey Championships, as well as in the Davis Cup Tennis, a sport where they have top 10 ranked players for men and women, helping to make them the leading Eastern European sporting nation (Russia aside)


16. Switzerland


Have tennis legend Roger Federer and are current tennis Davis Cup champions, they also the 12th ranked world soccer team.  They excel in a number of winter sports, particularly skiing and Ice Hockey and were 7th on the last winter olympic medal table.

17. Mexico


Reached the last 16 at both the soccer and basketball world cup, they have no fewer than 8 current boxing world champions.  They also have a number of mlb Baseball players and have some of the world's best divers.


18. Serbia


Reached the final of the 2014 men's basketball world cup and have the no.1 mens tennis player, Novak Djokovic, as well as the no.5 ranked woman Ana Ivanovic, which is remarkable given a population of only 7 million.

21. South Korea


5th on the last Olympic medal table, being a leading country at a number of indivdual sports including Archery, Figure and Speed Skating, Fencing, Table Tennis and Judo.  They also have the world's best female golfers, including the world no.1.


19. Croatia


Top 15 ranked at both soccer and basketball, the 2 largest sports and 3rd placed at last Handball World Championships.  They also have US open Tennis champion Marin Cilic.  even more remarkable, given a population of just 4 million.

20. South Africa


No. 1 ranked nation at Test Cricket and no.2 ranked nation at Rugby Union, they also have a number of top golfers, including Schwartzel and Els, making them Africa's top sporting nation.

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22. Belgium


The 4th ranked soccer team, having made the world cup quarter finals in 2014, driving their high position.  They are also strong at Field Hockey and Cycling

23. Colombia


Similar to Belgium, they owe their high position, largely due to their 3rd ranked soccer team, which also made the World Cup quarter finals.   Decent also at Baseball and motor sports.

24. Sweden


3rd in the last Ice Hockey World Championships and have world no.2 golfer, Henrik Stenson.  They excel at a number of winter sports, including downhill and cross country skiing.

25. Poland


Current men's Volleyball World Champions and are strong in Athletics throwing events, having the World Champion in Hammer.  They also have 5 world Kickboxing Champions.

26. Ukraine


Just behind their neighbours, Ukraine has the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion in Wladimir Klitschko and excel in Weightlifting, Wrestling and Gymnastics

27. Denmark


Finalists in the last World Handball Championship, they have a top 10 womens's tennis player (Wozniacki) and the 3rd ranked badmington player (Jorgenson)

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28. Austria


Particularly good at winters sports, they won the 6th most medals at the Winter Olympics.  They have the current mens downhill, slalom and womens Super-G downhill skiing Olympic champions

30. Romania


They have the world no.3 women's tennis player (Simona Halep) and 21st ranked soccer team.  They also had the 2nd placed female gymnast at the last World Championships.

29. New Zealand


Current world Rugby Union champions and world ranked no.1, they also reached the final of the Rugby League World Cup.  They are also top 10 at Cricket and Field Hockey and have good sailers and rowers.

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31. Greece


High position due to strength of men's soccer and basketball teams, the 2 biggest global sports, with both reaching the last 16 of the respective world cups in 2014

32. Slovakia


They have a top 10 ranked Ice Hockey team and top 25 ranked soccer team.   They also have a top 10 ranked female tennis player and excel at shooting.

33. Portugal


Their position is driven by their 7th world ranked soccer team, who most notably boast the current World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo

34. Turkey


Quarter-finalists in the 2014 Basketball world cup, where they are ranked top 8.  Also have the world heavyweight wrestling chamion and placed 4th and 3rd in the team rankings there.

35. Finland


Finalists in the World Ice Hockey Championships.  Apart from winter sports, they excel at motorsports, with Bottas 4th in the F1 standings, whilst they had 2 of the top 4 in the World Rally Championship

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36. Uruguay


Have a top 10 ranked Soccer team, which made the last 16 of the World Cup.  Also have a top 30 ranked Basteball Team and qualified for the Rugby Union World Cup Finals.

37. Slovenia


Quarter finalists in the Basketball World Cup and top 16 ranked at Ice Hockey.  They have the Olympic Downhill skiing Champion, as well as some of the world's best ski Jumpers

38. Cuba


16th in the last Olympic medal table, they have more than 30 baseball players in the MLB.  They are also one of the best boxing nations, with 5 current World Boxing Champions.

39. Tunisia


Good at men's team games,being top 30 ranked at both football and basketball.  They also made the last world Volleyball Championships and were last 16 in the Handball equiavlent.

40. India


2nd ranked at one-day cricket and top 10 at Field Hockey.  They also have top 10 players at mens and womens badmington , as well as being good at shooting and archery.  Still low vs their population!

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41. Puerto Rico


They have a top 15 ranked basketball team and were runners-up in the last baseball World Classic.   They also have Miguel Cotto, the world boxing middleweight champion, not bad for 3 million people.

42. Chile


They have a strong soccer team, ranked top 15 and reached last 16 of the last world cup, including World stars like Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal.

43. Dominican Republic


They have more than 100 MLB players, winning the last Baseball World Classic.  They also have a world boxing champion, came top 6 in last female volley worlds and were last 16 in Basket World Cup

44. Lithuania


An impressive semi-finalists at the 2014 World Cup Basketball drives their position, but also have the Olympic 100m Breastroke Swimming Champion.

45. Iran


Qualified for both football and basketball world cup finals in 2014, as well as making the last 6 in the last Volleyball World Championships.  Also have good wrestlers and weightlifters.

46. Israel


Top 50 in the World rankings at both Soccer and Basketball.  Have some strength in a number of sports including baseball, judo and sailing.

47. Norway


Excellent at winter sports, including downhill and cross-country skiing, ski jump, curling, Ice Hockey and Biathlon, coming 2nd in the last Winter Olympic Medal Table.  Also good at motor sports and shooting.

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48. Algeria


Have the highest ranked African soccer team, reaching the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup.  They also have good middle distance runners, including the 1500 mens Olympic champion.

49. Republic of Ireland


They have the 3rd ranked Rugby union Team and are the current 6 nations champions, as well as having a decent soccer team and being competitive at Hockey and Equestrian.  

50. Ivory Coast


The 2nd highest sub-saharan country have a top 25 ranked soccer team, who are African Champions.  They also have the World Silver Medalist at women's 100m and 200m running.

51. Costa Rica


Reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup at Soccer in 2014, although have little strength in other major sports.

52. Hungary


9th in Olympic Medal Table, being strong at swimming, judo, wrestling and fencing, although less strong at team sports.

53. Nigeria


Top 50 ranked at both Soccer and Basketball, as well as having some good sprinters.

54. Chines Taipei (Taiwan)


4th in the baseball world rankings, they also have top 10 players at both Badmington, Pool and Table Tennis.

55. Panama


Decent baseball and basketball teams, as well as having some good boxers.

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56. Senegal


Reached the last 16 in the Basketball World Cup and are top 50 in the soccer World Rankings

57. Venezuela


Top 50 ranked at Basketball and Volleyball. They have one of the best Baseball teams and an Olympic fencing gold medalist.

58. Belarus


Strong at a number of individual Olympic sports, including shooting, weightlifting, wrestling, gymnastics and Table Tennis

59. Thailand


They have 2 boxing world champions and are very strong at kickboxing.  They also have a top 10 badmington player.

60. Bulgaria


Last 16 at mens and womens volleyball at Worlds and good wrestlers, including an Olympic silver medalist

61. Ecuador


Made the world cup finals at soccer, where they finished 3rd in their group.  

62. Angola


Made the world cup finals at basketball and the last 16 at the last World Championships at women's Handball.

63. Iceland


Currently ranked top 30 in the world at Soccer and came 5th in the last men's handball World Championships.

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64. Cameroon


Made the World Cup Finals at Soccer in 2014 as well as the World Volleyball Championship finals

65. Bosnia-Herzegovina


Also made the World Cup Finals at Soccer, where they finished third in their group

66. Trinidad and Tobago


Have excellent athletes, including olympic javelin champion and 3  sprinting relay medals as well as having good cricketers.

67. Kazakhstan


Good at weightlifting, judo, wrestling and boxing. 12th on the last Olympic medal table and have a world champion boxer.

68. Pakistan


Have a top 5 ranked Cricket team, as well as being good at Field Hockey.

69. Jamaica


The kings of sprinting, winning 8 of the last 12 Olympic individual medals, including 100m winners, Usain Bolt and Fraser-Pryce.

70. Egypt


Top 40 ranked soccer team and qualified for last Volleyball World Championships.  Also have strong weightlifters

71. Latvia


Top 10 ranked Ice Hockey team and have a top 20 ranked male tennis player.  Have no.4 ranked Beach Volleyball team.

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72. Phillipines


Have great boxers, with Pacquiano one of 3 current World Champions.  Also have a large number of best pool players

73. Peru


Top 60 ranked at football, also having decent boxers and women's volleyball team

76. Cape Verde


Qualified top of their group for the African Nations Cup Finals and are currently ranked top 40 in the world at soccer.  

74. Sri Lanka


Were runners-up in the last Cricket World Cup Final and are ranked top 5 in both test and one-day cricket

78. Estonia


Good in Winter Sports, including Ice Hockey and Figure Skating, as well as fencing and having an Olympic discus medalist

79. Hong Kong


They have top 20 ranked players at both Badmington and Table Tennis, as well as good sailers.

80. Kenya


Very strong at middle and long distance running, including having 2 current Olympic and 4 World champions

81. Uzbekistan


Strong at wrestling,having the freestyle olympic champion, as well as weightlifting, judo, figure skating and boxing.

82. Albania


They are ranked inside the top 50 teams at Soccer in the FIFA world rankings

75. Guinea


Qualifiedfor the African Nations Cup Finals and are currently ranked top 40 in the world at soccer.  

77. Mali


Qualified for the African Nations Cup Finals at Soccer, in which they are top 50 ranked and competitive at female basketball

83. Jordan


Top 30 ranked at Mens Basketball, as well as being top 100 ranked at mens soccer

84. Congo DR


Semi-finalists at the African Nations Cup Finals at soccer in which they are top 60 globally ranked.

85. Montenegro


Top 60 ranked at men's soccer, as well as reaching the knock-out stages of the last women's handball World Championship

Biggest Global Sports

A statistics-based analysis of the biggest global sports

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86. Indonesia


They are ranked top 5 at Team Badmington, as well as having strong boxers and kickboxers.

87. Congo


Quarter finalists at the African Nations Cup Finals at soccer in which they are top 60 globally ranked.

88. Paraguay


A strong footballing nation, who are also competitive at Volleyball, basketball and Rugby.

89. Uganda


Have strong distance runners, including the current olympic marathon champion, as well as good boxers and kickboxers.

90. Nicaragua


Have current Ring World Champion in Flyweight Boxing, as well as some good baseball players.

91. Zambia


Qualified for the African Nations Cup Finals at soccer in which they are top 70 globally ranked.

92. Honduras


Qualified for the World Cup finals at Soccer and competitive at baseball

93. Togo


Top 70 ranked at mens soccer and quarter-finalists at the 2013 African Nations Cup

94. Armenia


Won Olympic medals at wrestling and weightlifting.  Good at boxing in which Arthur Abraham is a world champion.

95. Guatemala


Have a current Olympic silver medalist in mens walking as well as having a top 100 ranked soccer team

96. Gabon


Qualified for the African Nations Cup Finals at soccer in which they are top 70 globally ranked.

97. Burkino Faso


Qualified for the African Nations Cup Finals at soccer in which they are top 70 globally ranked.

98. North Korea


Won 4 Olympic gold medals in weightlifting and judo.  Also strong in shooting, wrestling and table tennis

99. Malaysia


Have top 3 ranked mens badmington player, as well as qualifying for the Hockey World Cup and having an Olympic medalist diver.

100. Ethiopia


Excellent long distance runners, including current womens marathon, 10,000 and 5,000m Olympic Champions

101. Morocco

102. Zimbawe

103. Libya

104. Haiti

105. Antigua

106. Singapore

107. Macedonia

108. United Arab Emirates

109. Cyprus

110. Bangledesh

111. Sierra Leone

112. Lebanon

113. Qatar

114. Azerbaijan

115. Georgia

116. Bolivia

117. Afghanistan

118. Rwanda

119. Mongolia

120. Benin

121. Malawi

122. El Salvador

123. Western Samoa

124. Vietnam

125. Barbados

126. Fiji

127. Oman

128. Tonga

129. Mozambique

130. Guyana

131. Botswana

132. Grenada

133. Namibia

134. Luxembourg

135. Bahamas

136. Papua New Guinea

137. Moldova

138. Guam

139. St Lucia

140. Aruba

141. Monaco

142. Dijibouti

143. Palau

144. Saudi Arabia

145. Iraq

146. Eritrea

247. Madagascar

148. Malta

149. Tajikistan

150. Krygistan

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