The beautiful Montenegro, with its diverse landscape, is a tourist attraction not just for its beauty but for the many activities it has to offer. From trekking, cycling, and horseback riding to swimming and diving, one can indulge in myriad activities.
When it comes to sports, team sports are predominantly prevalent, including football, water polo, volleyball, handball, and basketball. This article offers a roundup of the five most popular sports in the country.
Football In Montenegro
The world’s most popular sport has also made its way to the top in Montenegro. It is a popular topic of conversation among the locals and is considered one of the best ways to spend time. Be it schools, parks, cafes, or pubs, you will see football being played or discussed.
Montenegro has a league system in the country, with the Telekom 1 CFLA as the first league. There are second and third leagues well in lower tiers. Unfortunately, the first league has not achieved much success internationally and is one of the weakest leagues in the region. The most successful club in the league is the FK Sutjestka. With the rise of the club and the Buducnost from Podgorica, crowds have started returning to the stadiums to watch the local matches again. The clubs were a part of the first football league in Yugoslavia and now are the prominent clubs in the Montenegrin League.
The Montenegrin football national team is the world’s youngest international soccer team and has been playing in FIFA and UEFA since 2007. Till now, the team has little to show for its international participation. The team played successfully in Euro 2012 qualification challenge but eventually lost to the Czech Republic. The team also achieved success against England three times.
Basketball In Montenegro
Another sport that is also widely popular in Montenegro is basketball. Montenegrins are one of the top three tallest nations in the continent, a quality which makes them quite suitable for the sport.
There are various basketball clubs in the country, out of which the KK Budućnost Podgorica is the most successful club and has won many titles from Montenegro and Yugoslavia. It won every title ever since Montenegro’s independence and achieved three titles in the former Yugoslavia. The club has also achieved some success in FIBA and ULEB Euro league.
Buducnost was also the first club to bring the country an ABA League title. The second prominent club, Mornar, also continues to improve every year and has played in the regional league’s final four of the ABA (Adriatic Basketball Association).
The women’s most successful club is the ŽKK Budućnost Podgorica, the only team that has won titles in Yugoslavia League.
Handball In Montenegro
The third sport on our list is handball. It is one of the country’s most important sports, having won its first Olympic medal for Montenegro in 2012. It was a silver medal brought home by the women’s team. Men and women in the country equally like the sport.
The most successful men’s handball team in Montenegro is RK Lovćen from Cetinje. It has also claimed titles from the former Yugoslavia and became champions in Montenegro 7 times. The team has also participated in the EHF Champions League.
As far as the women’s teams are concerned, the most popular is the ŽRK Budućnost Podgorica. It is one of the only two Montenegrin clubs that has won a European tournament in team sports. It is also the only club to have won the women’s handball league titles in the country.
The national handball team has played once in the world cup and four times in the European championship.
Water Polo In Montenegro
Besides handball, men’s water polo is another sport that has put Montenegro on the global sports map. Water polo is mostly popular in southern Montenegro, and some of the best water polo players in recent times have come from this place.
The men’s national water polo team won the European Championship in 2008. The team also scored 4th place in the Olympics on three occasions. It also won second place in the World Championship in 2013 and gold twice in the World League.
In the First League of Montenegro, the most successful club is Jadran, while the overall most successful club is WC Primorac, the team that won the European Champions League in 2009.
Tennis In Montenegro
The last sport we will discuss in this article is tennis. It is one of the individual sports that have increased in popularity in recent years. In the men’s category, there has not been much success. However, the most notable tennis player in Montenegro is Danka Kovinic, who ranks 67th in the WTA rankings.
Besides tennis, other individual sports that are popular in Montenegro include boxing, judo, and mixed martial arts, among others.