10 largest sports events including World Cup and Super Bowl
Held every four years in June, the World Cup – organised by FIFA – is the most prestigious soccer tournament on the planet.
France lifted the World Cup for the second time in their history when they stormed to a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final four years ago.
The tournament starts off with 32 teams before it is quickly whittled down to 16. To date, Brazil has been the most successful country in the competition with five triumphs.
France are 6/1 favourites at the moment with Casumo to retain the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
The Super Bowl which is held every February, is watched worldwide.
Aside from the half-time show which has glitz and glamour, the Super Bowl is steeped in history.
From its inception in 1967, there have been plenty of classics over the years.
For the Super Bowl aficionados, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have left an indelible mark on the competition.
Brady has proved to be one of the best quarterbacks of all time and he has come to the fore in the Super Bowl where he has clinched six rings.
March Madness: Why is it such a big sporting event?
While the NBA usually takes top billing, the collegiate basketball system (NCAA) gets thrust into the spotlight every March.
After the first event was played in 1939, March Madness quickly expanded and there are currently 64 teams involved in the tournament.
UCLA have been prolific in this competition and they won seven titles in a row between 1967 and 1973. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 version of the tournament was cancelled.
Virginia took the honours in 2019 with an 85-77 win over Texas Tech in the final.
Another American sporting favourite is the Kentucky Derby.
Staged annually, the Kentucky Derby’s roots date back to 1872. It was held in September in 2020. In 2021, it will be the 147th Kentucky Derby meeting.
There has been plenty of drama over the years and there are particular horses that stand out for their outstanding displays on the track.
In 2018, Justify swept all before him and he won the Triple Crown.
This entailed victories at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, and Justify was the most recent horse to achieve that feat.
Away from the track, boxing is a sport that has commanded huge attention over the years. In the USA, Las Vegas and Madison Square Gardens in New York are the two homes of boxing.
From lightweight to heavyweight, the world titles are the main prize.
There has been many an upset over the year, including Mike Tyson’s defeat at the hands of James ‘Buster’ Douglas in 1990 via a 10th round KO (knockout) while Andy Ruiz Jr stunned the boxing world in 2019 with a seventh round TKO (technical knockout) of Anthony Joshua.
- Kentucky Derby big American tradition dating back to 1872
- Boxing has produced some big upsets, including when Andy Ruiz Jr beat Anthony Joshua and he dropped him four times
World Series: Baseball has hit event out of the park
Played in every year bar two (1903 and 1994), the World Series is usually held in October and switches between stadiums.
Consisting of a best-of-seven series, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been a near ever-present feature in the Finals over the past few years.
In 2020, they clinched a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays and it was their first victory in the tournament since 1988.
Perhaps the most famous Series was that of 1919 when the Cincinnati Reds defeated the favourites who were the Chicago White Sox, but the series was marred by scandal.
Cricket World Cup: Why we are enthralled by this tournament
A summer tournament that is held every four years, the Cricket World Cup has captured the hearts and minds of fans since its first edition in 1975.
There have been some terrific batting displays with some huge power plays while there has been some devastating bowling performances.
Of the most recent World CupS, England’s 2019 triumph which was held on home soil will stand long in the memory.
It went down to a Super Over in the final and New Zealand needed two off the final ball, but a run out meant they fell agonisingly short!
Rugby World Cup: Uniting fans through explosive tries and more
Perhaps one of the newer sports events featured on this celebrated list, the Rugby World Cup – which started in 1987 – is held every four years and in the summer.
Former England star Jonny Wilkinson holds the record for most points scored in World Cup history (277) and he inspired England to victory in the 2003 final as they lifted the William Webb Ellis Cup.
New Zealand and South Africa have been the two most dominant forces in the tournament’s history with the latter claiming the spoils in 2019 with victory over England.
Melbourne Cup: A race that stops the nation
One of the oldest sporting events on this list, the Melbourne Cup is known worldwide to horse racing fans and it shocks and excites in equal measure.
So much so, that the event which is held every year on the first Tuesday of November, is known as the ‘race that stops a nation’.
There have been some incredible performances and photo finishes, but the three-peat of Makybe Diva from 2003 to 2005 is still fondly talked about today.
With the Melbourne Cup, there is always a surprise or two and the favourite doesn’t always win!
The Grand National: Why everyone loves Aintree festival
The Grand National which is run every April – is four miles in distance – and there are 16 furlongs for riders and jockeys to contend over the two laps of the course they undertake.
Held every April, the Grand National which is staged at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool, dates back to 1839.
Usually, there are 40 runners and riders but the course is a lottery and there are usually a few casualties along the way. There have been a few upsets results wise and there have been some cracking horses over the years, including Red Rum and Tiger Roll.