Hockey (or field hockey) is believed to have its roots in Ireland and/or Scotland. Derived from the game ‘Hurling’ from Ireland, or the Scottish version known as Shinty; these games gained huge popularity among the masses. Various other iterations of the game are also believed to exist. Be it the Chinese version named Beikou, or the one termed Cheikou, which was played by the European invaders of Chile. The game is now one of the most widely played games across the globe. Let us take a look at the top 10 greatest hockey players of all time.-- Advertisement --
Top 10 Greatest Hockey Players of All Time
|Rank||Name of the Hockey Player|
|5||Teun de Nooijer|
Starting off the list, we have Australian field hockey player Fergus Kavanagh. Hailed by many as one of the greatest modern-day field hockey players, Kavanagh is a member of the Australian men’s field hockey team. In the domestic circuit, he plays for the Western state team in the Australian Hockey League. Fergus led his team to victory in the 2010 Delhi Hockey World Cup and the 2014 Hague World Cup. He has also helped his team secure medals in Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. The best feather in his cap was winning the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
At number nine, we have another fellow Australian, Jamie Dwyer. A pioneer member of the Australian field hockey team, he led his team to win the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Having an illustrious career, he has played more than 250 matches, scoring more than 150 goals. He also played a pivotal role in his team winning the gold medals in the 2006 and 2008 Commonwealth Games. He is considered one of the best tacticians in the game.-- Advertisement --
Next up, we have Indian field hockey icon, Dhanraj Pillay. He was the only Indian to feature in the World XI side for the 1994 World Cup in Sydney. He has participated in four Olympics, from 1992 to 2004. Dhanraj also served as the captain of the Indian field hockey team. Throughout his career, he scored more than 170 goals in 339 international games. Due to his contributions to the field of hockey, he was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri in 2000.
This former Dutch field hockey player is widely considered one of the best penalty takers in the history of the game. He participated as a member of the Dutch field team in numerous competitions such as the World Cup, EuroHockey Championships, Buenos Aires Hockey World Cup, etc, and won medals and secured positions in all of them. Besides the national team, he was also a pioneer member of the HC Klein Zwitserland club.
At number six we have the former Pakistani player, Shahbaz Ahmed. He is widely considered one of the greatest forwards that the game has ever produced. Because of his impeccable dribbling skills with the stick, he was nicknamed the Maradona of field hockey. As a skipper, he led his team to a world cup victory in 1994. Apart from his national team, Ahmed also played for the German club Harvestehuder. He participated in three Olympics and managed to secure the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics. Another important feat of his is that he is the only player in the history of field hockey to win the player of the tournament award two times consecutively in the 1990 and 1994 World Cup.
Teun de Nooijer
Another Dutch field hockey player is also considered one of the best field hockey players of modern times. He plays for numerous teams apart from his national teams, such as the likes of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Indian Hockey League and the Dutch team HC Bloemendaal. He won gold medals on two occasions: the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics. As a skipper, he led his team to the finals in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.
Coming in at number four, Hassan Sardar’s stature as the most talented and perhaps the best player ever produced by the Pakistan Hockey Federation is undoubted. Hassan won the gold medal and led the Pakistan national hockey team to victory in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Apart from dispensing his services on the field, Sardar has also lent his aid in the administration of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, wherein he acted as the head coach as well as the manager of the national team.
Ric Charlesworth comes in at number three on this list of greatest hockey players of all time. A pioneer of Australian field hockey, he played and represented his team in five Olympics. His contribution to hockey in general cannot be undermined. In the hockey World cup in London in 1986, he led his team to victory. Because of his stupendous performance and contribution, he received the Australian Citizen of the Year award in 2001. Furthermore, he was also inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame in 1987.
The first person ever to reach the mark of 300 goals in field hockey, Sohail Abbas was indeed a genius of the game. Loved by fans and hailed as one of the greatest field hockey players, Sohail was also considered one of the greatest flickers. He is the top scorer for Pakistan with 16 goals in three world cup appearances.
Topping the list is none other than Colonel Dhyan Chand. He is widely considered the greatest field hockey player of all time, and one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history. Nicknamed the Wizard, he scored more than 100 goals throughout his career.