Padel is becoming ever more popular across the globe, with many of its players coming from many different countries. Traditionally, the sport would be played outside, so the countries that have embraced the game first tend to be those in hot climates where sunny playing conditions can be guaranteed. With that being said, padel has been extremely successful in many Central and South American countries.
The advancement of padel court technology has allowed courts to be built inside sports centres, which has benefited players who live in countries that have temperamental weather conditions. Padel playing has seen a rise in Northern European countries and North America. In this article, we will be discussing the top 5 countries that play padel and see why it’s so popular in those countries.
Spain can be considered as the motherland of padel. It was here where people first fell in love with the game and it has become one of the most popular sports in the country, just behind soccer. It was brought over from Mexico by the Spanish entrepreneur Alfonso de Hohenlohe who was the main driving force behind making padel an international sport. Hohenlohe firmly established padel in Spain’s Costa del Sol and commissioned two state-of-the-art padel courts at the Marbella tennis club. Moving on a few years and Spain can be considered the home of padel and some of the best padel players originate from the country.
Padel is the second most popular sport in Argentina, just behind soccer. Argentina is a country that embraces sport and even through economic hardship, has still been able to maintain the love of sport. The history of padel in Argentina is entwined with the Mexican businessman Enrique Corcuera because it was his Argentine friend Julio Menditengui in the 1970s that introduced the game to the country. One of the most famous Argentines in recent times Lionel Messi has been seen playing the sport in his home in Barcelona.
Mexico is the birthplace of padel’s inventor Enrique Corcuera, so it has played a significant part in the development of the sport. Once reserved for the ruling elite of Mexico, it can now be seen across the country and is once again the second most popular sport in Mexico, just one place behind soccer. Mexico city once hosted the 2018 World Padel Tour, which was covered by all the major media outlets in North America.
Padel is building momentum in the UK, with a 75% increase in people playing the game in recent years. There are about 82 padel courts in the UK and many tennis clubs are investing money in building padel courts, because of the already 6,000 active padel players in the country. It is the rising star in the British racquet sports scene, with many players getting a taste for it in Spain and wanting to play it back home
Like many things, the United States was ahead of the curve when it comes to padel. Although the sport wasn’t really accepted until the late nineties, it has grown in popularity ever since and is big in the states of Florida, Texas and California.