About Italian Sports
Sports in Italy have a long tradition. In numerous sports, both individual and team, Italy has good representation and many successes.
Football is the most popular sport in Italy. Basketball, volleyball, and Cycling are the next most popular/played sports, with Italy having a rich tradition in all three. Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and is currently the second most successful football team in World Cup history, after Brazil, having won four FIFA World Cup championships. Italy also has strong traditions in rugby union, tennis, athletics, fencing, and winter sports. Cycling is a well represented sport in Italy. Italians have won the World Cycling Championship more than any other country, except Belgium. The Giro d'Italia is a world famous long distance cycling race held every May, and constitutes one of the three Grand Tours, along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, each of which last approximately three weeks. Volleyball (pallavolo) is played by a lot of amateur players, and professional players compete in the Italian Volleyball League. The male and female national teams are often in top 4 ranking of teams in the wor
d, regarded as the best volleyball league in the world.
Italy is one of the main basketball nations in Europe, along with Spain, Serbia, Greece, Slovenia, Lithuania, Croatia, Russia, Turkey, and France. It has a long and rich tradition in the sport. The Italian national basketball team's best results were gold at Eurobasket 1983 and EuroBasket 1999, as well as silver at the Olympics in 2004. Until the 2000s, the Italian League was considered the strongest domestic league outside of North America. It has recently been overtaken by the Spanish ACB, but is still one of the top leagues in Europe, along with the Russian PBL, the Greek A1 Ethniki, the Adriatic League, and the Baltic League. Famous club teams include Olimpia Milano, Pallacanestro Varese, Pallacanestro Cantu, Virtus Bologna, Fortitudo Bologna, Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro, Benetton Treviso, Montepaschi Siena, Basket Napoli, Virtus Roma, Pallacanestro Trieste, and Juvecaserta Basket. In Italy, bodybuilding is at the 10th place in the ranking of most popular sports, even considering the high number of people who engage in body building gym, as amateur, just to keep fit themselves.