Talking about sports is an easy way to start a conversation with Germans. Football is popular, but there are many other sports we enjoy. You will get here the top 10 Most Popular Sports in Germany with details. To have an interesting conversation, and learn the basics: the sport, famous German athletes, and memorable moments in history.
Sport plays a significant role in German culture and society. In 2006, there were over 87,000 sport clubs in Germany with approximately 28 million people being members of these clubs. The German Olympic Sports Federation represents nearly all sports clubs in the country.
Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Germany
Now, let’s see the top 10 most famous sports in Germany with details given here.
- 1. Fussball – Soccer or Football
- Eishockey – Ice Hockey
- Formel 1 – Formula 1
Germany was the top winner in terms of gold medals and total medals at the Winter Olympics in Turin in 1992, 1998, 2002, and 2006. East Germany claimed the most gold medals at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
1. Fussball – Soccer or Football
There is no doubt that football is the most renowned sport in Germany. To provide a clearer understanding of the immense impact of football in Germany, let’s examine the national football association known as DFB – Deutscher Fussball Bund. With approximately 7 million members, the DFB is the largest sports federation globally. To put this into perspective, around 10% of all Germans are directly affiliated with the German Football Association.
The German football league, Bundesliga, holds a prominent position as one of Europe’s most successful and renowned leagues.
Germany’s football achievement
The FIFA World Cup
- The champions were crowned in the years 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014.
- The teams that finished in second place were the following: 1966, 1982, 1986, and 2002.
- The team secured third place in the following years: 1934, 1970, 2006, and 2010.
- Fourth place: 1952
The UEFA European Championship
- Winners (3): 1972, 1980, 1996
- The teams that came in second place were the following: 1976, 1992, and 2008.
- The team achieved third place in the years 1988, 2012, and 2016.
The Summer Olympic Games
- First Place Medal (1): 1976
- Silver Medal (2): 1980 and 2016
- Bronze Medal: 1964, 1972, 1988 (3 times)
- Achieving a ranking of fourth place, the year 1952 marked a significant milestone.
Most popular German football player
It is a difficult decision, considering the numerous talented footballers Germany has seen over the years. However, there is no denying that Franz Beckenbauer stands out as the most renowned German football star of all time.
He achieved great success both as a player and as the manager of the German Nationalmannschaft. He is the sole German footballer to have won the World Cup in both capacities.
2. Eishockey – Ice Hockey
Ice hockey ranks second in popularity in Germany, falling behind football. The sport has multiple leagues, with the top tier being the 14-team Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Germany’s men’s national ice hockey team boasts several notable NHL players, both current and former, such as Leon Draisaitl, winner of the Hart Trophy, Philipp Grubauer, Tim Stützle, Moritz Seider, Dominik Kahun, Christian Ehrhoff, Jochen Hecht, Dennis Seidenberg, Thomas Greiss, Marcel Goc and Marco Sturm.
There are NHL prospects like Alexander Sulzer, Philip Gogulla, Lukas Reichel, and Marcel Müller. The men’s national team currently holds the 8th spot in world rankings.
It is widely believed that there is no other sport in Germany where the fans in the stadium generate more noise and celebrate as enthusiastically as they do at an ice hockey game. Most major cities have a first-league ice hockey team, so you should check out if this rumor about the incredible atmosphere is true. While the German ice hockey league is considered one of the top leagues globally, it does not reach the same level of fame as the American NHL.
Ice Hockey Achievement
- Current: Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Deutsche Eishockey Liga 2, Oberliga (Ice Hockey), Regionalliga (ice hockey)
- Output: German Ice Hockey League, German Ice Hockey League 2, Regional League (Ice Hockey), Lower League (Ice Hockey)
- Historical: Berlin City League, Regional League (Ice Hockey), Bundesliga (ice hockey)
- International Tournament
- Germany Cup
- Explanation: The text “Deutschland Cup” can be rephrased as “Germany Cup” while maintaining the same meaning and information.
- Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament in Germany: 1935
- The Ice Hockey World Championships for men in Germany: The years in which the Olympic Games took place were 1930 (in Chamonix and Berlin), 1936 (at the same Olympic Games), 1955, 1975, 1983, 1993, 2001, and 2010.
- The European Championships for Men’s Ice Hockey in Germany: 1911, 1913, 1914, 1932
Most famous German ice hockey player
Uwe Krupp has successfully made his way to the NHL, which is regarded as the top ice hockey league in the world. In 1996, he and his team, the Colorado Avalanche, achieved a remarkable victory by winning the Stanley Cup. Krupp showcased his leadership skills as the manager of the German National Ice Hockey Team, where he led them to the semi-finals in 2010 during the World Cup Tournament.
Regrettably, golf remains a sport in Germany that appears to be limited to those with significant wealth. Many golf clubs mandate membership or impose substantial fees for access to their courses.
Furthermore, despite the achievements of German golfer Martin Kaymer, there is a lack of golf tournament coverage on German free TV.
Germany’s Golf Achievement
Bernhard Langer, a two-time Masters champion, holds the distinction of being the first German to win a major championship and has achieved the status of former World No. 1. Since reaching the age of 50 in 2007, he has primarily competed on the PGA Tour Champions, the U.S. senior circuit. Throughout his 11 full seasons on this tour, he has topped the prize money list in 10 of them and has an impressive record of winning 10 senior majors in his career. These victories include The Tradition in 2016 and 2017, the Senior PGA Championship in 2017, the U.S. Senior Open in 2010, the Senior Players Championship in 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as The Senior Open Championship in 2010, 2014, and 2017.
Langer holds the unique distinction of being the sole golfer to have emerged victorious in all five of the senior majors that are presently contested. Following his triumph at the 2010 PGA Championship in Wisconsin,
Martin Kaymer became the second German player to secure a major championship title and subsequently ascended to the top spot in the World Golf Rankings in 2011. Additionally, he clinched the U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina in 2014.
Most famous German golfer
Undoubtedly, Martin Kaymer is renowned as the most well-known German golf player. He continues to participate in the PGA tour and holds the distinction of being only the second German golfer to secure a Major tournament victory.
In 2011, he achieved an extraordinary feat by being ranked as the top golfer globally for over 8 weeks, an accomplishment made even more remarkable by the fact that he became the second youngest player ever to achieve this prestigious ranking.
Basketball in Germany has gained significant popularity, thanks to the achievements of Detlef Schrempf and particularly Dirk Nowitzki, both highly accomplished German players in the NBA.
Although the German Basketball League is not considered one of the top leagues in Europe, attending one of their games will offer a truly emotional and captivating experience that is worth experiencing.
Read also: NBA MVP winners list
Most famous German basketball player
Dirk Nowitzki, as stated earlier, is the most renowned German basketball player without a doubt.
Following his debut season in 1998, he swiftly established himself as the top player on the Dallas Mavericks.
Having earned the nickname “German Wunderkind,” Dirk Nowitzki achieved his career highlight by winning the NBA championship in 2011.
- Uwe Blab
- Shawn Bradley
- Frido Frey
- Richard Fröhlich
- Elias Harris
- Jens Kujawa
- Tim Ohlbrecht
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Henrik Rödl
- Daniel Theis
- Detlef Schrempf
- Dennis Schröder
- Franz Wagner
- FIBA World Cup
- Summer Olympic Games
- Euro Basket
- Basketball Champions League
- FIBA Women’s World Cup
- EuroBasket Women
- EuroLeague Women
- EuroCup Women
5. Formel 1 – Formula 1
Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel were solely responsible for the immense excitement that surrounded Formula 1 in the past. Their remarkable achievements as drivers allowed them to dominate the sport for years, filling countless Germans with immense pride as they watched the races from the comfort of their homes on Sunday afternoons.
Since Schumacher and Vettel are no longer World champions, it appears that the Germans have become less interested in Formula 1.
Most famous German F1 driver
It’s a difficult decision to make, considering the dominance of both Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel in this sport over the years. However, if we had to choose, our preference would be for Michael Schumacher.
His lengthy career saw him break nearly all records, including 7 Formula One World Championships (a record), 68 Pole Positions (a record), and the fastest laps (a record). These achievements provide a vivid illustration of just how incredibly successful Michael Schumacher was.
Handball holds great popularity in Germany, particularly in smaller cities where there is no prominent football team to draw large crowds. It is noteworthy that handball teams from these smaller cities achieve significant success.
Most famous German handball player
Stefan Kretzschmar may not be considered the most successful German handball player when analyzing his career statistics. However, his popularity in Germany can be easily understood by simply observing his tattoo-covered body and untamed blond hair.
Handball is the second most popular team sport in Germany, with 33% of people preferring it over other sports. Basketball received 25% of the votes, followed by ice hockey at 24% and volleyball at 11%. Additionally, handball is played by approximately 750,000 registered players in Germany as of 2016.
The IHF World Men’s Handball Championship has been won three times by the German men’s national team. The first victory came in 1938, followed by West Germany’s win in 1978 and the United German team’s triumph at home in 2007. They have also achieved European championship titles twice, first in 2004 and then again in the 2016 edition of the tournament. In the Olympic Games, their achievements include one gold medal (1936), two silver medals (1984 and 2004), and one bronze medal (2016).
Although Boris Becker holds the record for being the youngest player to win the Wimbledon title, Steffi Graf dominated women’s tennis for a considerable period.
Currently, tennis remains a popular sport among Germans for participation; however, there has been a notable decline in television viewership.
Graf, a renowned tennis player, holds the record for winning 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the second-highest achievement among both male and female players. In 1988, she made history by becoming the sole player, regardless of gender, to accomplish the Calendar Year Golden Slam. This remarkable feat involved securing victory in all four Grand Slam singles tournaments as well as earning an Olympic gold medal within the same calendar year.
The German Open Hamburg was formerly part of the prestigious Grand Prix Super Series from 1978 to 1989 and later became part of the esteemed ATP Masters Series from 1990 to 2008. Similarly, the Eurocard Open belonged to the ATP Masters Series from 1995 to 2001.
These events have since been upgraded to ATP World Tour 500 status, with the German Open Hamburg receiving this designation in 2009 and the Halle Open following suit in 2015. Germany had the privilege of hosting both the ATP Tour World Championships and Grand Slam Cup between 1990 and 1999. On the women’s side, the Women’s German Open held Tier I status from 1988 to 2008, while the Women’s Stuttgart Open has been classified as a WTA Tier II / Premier tournament since its inception in 1990.
Most famous German tennis player
Being the youngest player ever to win Wimbledon makes it difficult for one not to become the most renowned German tennis player.
Boris Becker also made a name for himself outside of the tennis court, particularly with his well-known incident with Angela Ermakowa, known as the “Besenkammer” episode. This event ultimately led to the end of his marriage with Barbara Becker and resulted in the birth of their daughter, Anna.
Boxing is popular in Germany, with both male and female fights regularly televised. The Klitschko brothers are among the most popular boxers in the country. German TV network RTL considers them a valuable asset alongside football. Germany has become a boxing hub, attracting international fighters.
Henry Maske was a recently successful German boxing champion, while Max Schmeling was a heavyweight champion in the 1930s. His fights with Joe Louis became global events due to their national significance. Schmeling was ranked 55 on Ring Magazine’s list of greatest punchers.
Most famous German boxer
Choosing between Henry Maske and Max Schmeling is a difficult decision. However, we ultimately opted for Henry Maske due to his significant contribution to making boxing immensely popular in the ’90s. Moreover, he continues to be recognized as the Gentleman of the sport, thanks to his admirable sportsmanship.
Just like tennis, skiing is a sport that Germans prefer to participate in rather than spectate. Every winter, the roads leading to the Alps are congested with people enjoying their winter vacations by skiing in the breathtaking Alps.
Germany boasts several premier skiing destinations, mostly situated in the majestic Alps, which are also the highest mountains in Germany. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights is riding the Zugspitzbahn to the summit of Germany’s highest mountain, die Zugspitze.
The most popular German ski star
Despite Germans’ love for winter sports, it feels like it has been a very long time since we had a highly successful German ski star. However, if you were to mention one name, it would undoubtedly be Markus Wasmeier. He achieved the remarkable feat of winning Gold medals in both Giant Slalom and Super-G at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Since then, Germany has been eagerly awaiting its next skiing superstar.
Tony Martin is a top individual time trial specialist, winning the UCI Road World Championships in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. André Greipel, Marcel Kittel, and John Degenkolb are successful road sprinters. From 2014 to 2016, Germany had the most stage wins in the Tour de France. Germany also topped the medal table at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships.
Unlike tennis or skiing, cycling was a sport that Germans were fond of watching on TV on Sunday afternoons. We are not acquainted with any serious cyclists who engage in this sport. However, the popularity of cycling on television has dwindled due to the involvement of prominent German cyclists like Erik Zabel and Jan Ullrich in doping scandals.
Most popular German cyclist
Admitting that Jan Ullrich is the most renowned German cyclist can be quite challenging. However, in addition to his victory in the 1997 Tour de France, he faced a positive drug test which led to the cancellation of all his results starting from 2005.
Let’s see the most popular sports in different types of the country like:
Other popular sports in German
There are also popular German sports named here.
- American Football
- Beach Volleyball
- Rugby Union
- Rugby League
- Water Sports
- Winder Sports
- Olympic Games
People also ask about the Most Popular Sports in Germany
What is the national sport of Germany established by law?
Soccer is the national sport of Germany, and it holds the title of being the most popular sport in the country. The German soccer industry receives financial support from various sources, including state funding, state contributions, voluntary service, private sponsors, and membership fees. This support enables the sport to thrive, with a remarkable 26,000 clubs and 178,000 teams in Germany.
What game is very popular in Germany?
Soccer, also known as football, holds the title of being the most beloved sport in Germany. Leading the way is the German Football Association, which serves as the governing body for this sport and boasts an impressive number of over 30,000 teams and approximately 6.6 million members. This accounts for nearly 8% of Germany’s entire population.
What is Germany’s largest sports organization?
The German Olympic Sports Organization (DOSB) oversees the training of approximately 28 million athletes, including recreational, amateur, and professional sports enthusiasts, making it the largest sports organization in the world.
Having already gained knowledge about the Top 10 sports in Germany, it is now the perfect opportunity to delve into the German food culture and discover the Top 10 culinary delights of the country. If you are in the process of moving to Germany, you may be interested in finding out which mobile phone or internet provider would be best for you to subscribe to.
Soccer is the national sport of Germany and the most popular sport in the country. With 26,000 clubs and 178,000 teams, German soccer is funded through state funding, voluntary service, private sponsors, and membership fees. I think you’re now happy to see the top 10 sports in Germany with details.