Trying to figure out the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time can be tricky. Some of the most famous names in the sport come from countries like India, Pakistan, and Japan, which aren’t necessarily known for their hockey prowess on an international scale. Still, you might be surprised by just how successful some of these athletes are. This list ranks field hockey players who have dominated the sport at the international level and helped to put their home countries on the map in terms of international competition. Let’s take a look at the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time.
10. Fergus Kavanagh
Many consider Fergus Kavanagh to be one of the best field hockey players of all time. It is his role to play for the Western Australia state team in the Australian Hockey League.
In addition to winning the 2010 Delhi Hockey World Cup and the 2014 The Hague World Cup while Fergus was the main player, Australia won the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games gold and two Bronze medals at the 2012 London Olympics. In 2011, he also represented Australia at the Azlan Shah Cup.
In addition to being the very best defender of field hockey, he scored 14 goals in 191 appearances for the national team. His other great achievement was winning the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
9. Dhanraj Pillay
Dhanraj Pillay is the only former Indian field hockey player to be named to the World Eleven for the World Cup in Sydney in 1994. He is the only field hockey player in history to have played in four Olympics from 1992 to 2004, four World Cups from 1990 to 2002, four Champions Trophies from 1995 to 2003, and four Asian Games from 1990 to 2002.
Pillay was also captain of the Indian national team and won gold medals at the Asian Games and Asia Cup in 1998. He scored more than 170 goals in 339 international matches and became the highest goal scorer at the Asian Games in Bangkok.
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Padma Shri, the leading civilian award of India, were awarded to Pillay in 2000. He now occupies the ninth position on our list of the greatest field hockey players in history.
8. Jamie Dwyer
Jamie Dwyer, an Australian field hockey player, is one of the pioneering members of the Australian men’s field hockey team and he has more than 150 goals in his more than 250 games. He captained his national team to victory in the 2004 Summer Olympics, leading them to a gold medal.
In addition to being an Olympian and major contributor to the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics bronze medal-winning national team, Dwyer is now considered one of the all-time greatest field hockey players. Jamie not only won a gold medal for his team in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2010 Commonwealth Games, but he also represented them in the first place.
He won gold at the 2010 Men’s Hockey World Cup, silver at the 2002 Men’s Field Hockey World Cup and 2006 Men’s Field Hockey World Cup, and was named IHF World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2007.
7. Ties Kruize
Ties Kruize was a field hockey player from the Netherlands and won the Amstelveen International Hockey World Cup in 1973. He is widely regarded as the best penalty corner taker in field hockey history. Kruize then won the Silver medal at the 1978 Buenos Aires Hockey World Cup.
In 1983 and 1974, he won gold and bronze medals for the Dutch national team at the EuroHockey Nations Championship. Additionally, Kruize demonstrated his incredible skills with the hockey stick in Hockey Champions Trophy and won two consecutive gold medals in 1981 Karachi and 1982 Amstelveen.
Kruize was a pioneer member of the HC Klein Zwitserland team and won Dutch titles eight consecutive times from 1977 to 1984. He now ranks seventh among the 10 greatest field hockey players of all time.
6. Teun de Nooijer
Field hockey player Teun de Nooijer of the Netherlands is widely considered one of the best players of the modern era. He played for the Dutch team HC Bloemendaal as well as the national team. The Indian Hockey League also saw him play for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
Nooijer completed 400 games of national team play on 15 August 2009 with a 5-3 victory against India. He was a pioneer member of the Dutch team at the 1996 Olympics. During the Olympics in 1996 at Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney, he won gold.
At the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2012 Olympics in London, Teun also won silver medals for his nation. He won the 1998 Hockey World Cup in Utrecht and won bronze in the 2002 and 2010 World Cups.
5. Shahbaz Ahmed
Shahbaz Ahmed, a former Pakistani field hockey player, is considered one of the best forwards in field hockey history. Moreover, he currently occupies the fifth spot on our list of the greatest field hockey players of all time. As a result of his amazing dribbling skills, he was nicknamed The Maradona of Hockey.
He captained his team to the victory of the 1994 Men’s Hockey World Cup victory. Ahmed joined the Pakistan National Hockey Team in 1986. He also played for Harvestehuder in Germany.
After the Atlanta Games in 1996, Shahbaz also played for Dutch club OranjeZwart. He was a member of three Olympic teams and won a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. In 1990 and 1994, he was the only player in Field Hockey history to win player of the tournament awards consecutively twice.
4. Hassan Sardar
In addition to being one of the top field hockey players of all time, Hassan Sardar is also considered the best player from the Pakistan Hockey Federation. In 1984, he won the gold medal and led his country’s men’s team to victory in Los Angeles during the Summer Olympics.
Sardar took part in his first World Hockey Cup in Mumbai in 1982, where he demonstrated that he was Pakistan’s finest center forward. In addition to being Man of the Tournament, he also won the inaugural world cup he played in 1982.
At the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, Sardar achieved a hat-trick as part of the 7-1 crushing of India. Aside from serving as the Chief Selector of the Pakistan field hockey team, he also served as the team’s head coach and manager.
3. Ric Charlesworth
Coach Ric Charlesworth received the Advance Australia Award for his outstanding contributions to field hockey in 1984. He was a pioneer member of the Australian team and competed at five Olympic Games. Out of those, he served as captain twice, from 1972 to 1988.
Among his many accomplishments, he was named Western Australia Sportsman of the Year three times. He led his national team to victory in the 1986 World Hockey Cup in London. Ric was inducted into the Australian Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987. He also received the Western Australia Citizen of the Year Award in 2001.
He was also inducted into the Hall of Champions of Western Australia in 1995. Having received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000, Ric now holds third place on our list of the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time.
2. Sohail Abbas
Pakistani field hockey player Sohail Abbas is considered a result of a good engineering job in Pakistan. Additionally, his fans think of him as one of the greatest field hockey players of all time. Sohail has been called the highest scorer in modern field hockey. He is the first person in history to reach the 300-goal mark.
Sohail is renowned for breaking 100 goals and 200 goals barriers as the fastest goal scorer in international hockey. He has the highest success rate with the drag-flick, at 65%. Also, he holds the world record for the most goals scored in a single calendar year at 60 goals in 1999.
Notably, he also came close to breaking his own record in 2004, when he scored 59 goals. He is the only person in history to score 21 hat tricks and even a double hat-trick in international games. With 16 goals in three world cup appearances, he is the top scorer in Pakistan.
1. Dhyan Chand
Dhyan Chand is widely regarded as the greatest field hockey player of all time. He is also considered to be the best athlete in Olympic history. From 1928 to 1936, India won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in Hockey.
From 1926 to 1948, he scored over 1000 goals. For that reason, he was nicknamed ‘The Wizard’. One German newspaper featured him with the headline: “With his magical stickwork, he attracted audiences from other venues to the Olympic hockey field.” there is now a magic show at the Olympic complex.”
In a strange coincidence, Fuhrer was so impressed by Dhyan Chand’s skills that he offered him a position as a Colonel in the Nazi army, which Dhyan declined. Due to his unbelievable wizardry, the Dutch authorities once broke his stick. Before matches, they did that to see if there was a magnet in the hockey stick. This wizard died on 3 December 1979.