FIH Hockey World Cup: How the participating teams are shaping up

Breakdown of the teams attending the FIH Men’s Hockey Championships, starting Friday, here. Argentina (7th in the world) Rio Olympics champion Argentina is the henchman of Pan American hockey, having won the continental championship 14 times. With slick style and incredible technical ability, Los Leones can beat any team in the world on their day, as they showed in their 2-1 win over the defending champions. Olympic and World Champion Belgium in November.

But the team led by former Argentina goalkeeper Mariano Ronconi have struggled at the World Cup, reaching the semi-finals only once in 13 appearances so far – in the 2014 tournament when they finished third.

Last time, they topped the group but lost to England 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

The departure of star corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat for Germany after more than 100 matches for Argentina will be felt.

Agustin Mazzilli, Lucas Vila and captain Matias Rey – named Player of the Tournament as his team won the 2022 Pan American Cup in Santiago, Chile to crown their World Cup – were among Some of the players to watch out for despite being in their 30s.

Australia (1st in the world: 1)The Kookaburras have been the most consistent men’s hockey team of the past 30 years, consistently staying in the top four of the FIH World Rankings during that time. They have won every available award, including Olympic titles, World Cup, FIH Hockey Pro League and Oceania Cup.

The team coached by former striker Colin Batch did not play too many games after a penalty shootout loss to Belgium at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. However, they did win the Commonwealth Games championship for the first time. Saturday, beating India 7-0 in the final in Birmingham last August.

Since then, they have played just five games against India, winning 4-1 in a high-scoring home series in November-December.

Unlike many other teams at this World Cup, Australia have not started their Pro-League campaign this season but are known for their fast-paced, attacking hockey with a tight defence, sure that the Australian will seeking fourth place equalizing the world title record.

They lost to the final runner-up Netherlands in the semi-finals in a penalty shootout and beat England in the third place match.

Captain Eddie Ockenden, corner specialist Blake Govers, defender Jake Harvie, midfielder Aran Zalewski will be among the players watching our excellent Kookaburras team.

Belgium (2nd in the world) Belgium’s rise from one of the teams that also run in Europe to the pinnacle of global hockey has been one of the standout stories of the past two decades. Over the years, the Red Lions have won every major title, including the World Cup (2018), Olympic Games (2021), European Championships (2019) and FIH Hockey Pro League (2020- 21).

They are again title contenders, alongside Australia and the Netherlands, and defend the title they won at Kalinga Stadium four years ago.

The team coached by Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel has strength and depth in every department, and features some of the best players in the world, proven winners who have won trophies. the biggest brands on the greatest stages.

However, they relied on tried and tested players with more than half of the team over 30 years old (or close to) 200 games for their kitty.

With Vincent Vanasch – who lost to PR Sreejesh of India in the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award – and Loic Van Doren, they have two world-class goalkeepers, while Arthur Van Doren, Victor Wegnez, Felix Denayer, Florent Van Aubel, John- John Dohmen, Alexander Hendrickx, Arthur de Sloover and Tom Boon – both of whom were shortlisted for the FIH Hockey Stars Player of the Year Award for 2022 – are all talented extraordinary ability.

Germany (4th in the world)With four Olympic gold medals, two world championships and eight European titles, Germany has an enviable history in international hockey. Tactically sharp and technically brilliant, Die Honamas – as the German national team is called – has a habit of high form at the Olympic Games and World Cups, something they hope to repeat here at Odisha.

After losing to India in the bronze medal play-off at the Tokyo Olympics, Germany has new coach Andre Henning. The team has had a long preparation for more than eight months, winning 13 out of 18 games in the past year and will be looking to repeat the same feat at the World Cup.

Striker Niklas Wellen – one of the nominees for the FIH Player of the Year award – and goalkeeper Alexander Stadler, who is in the running for the Best Goalkeeper award, will be among the key players for the German team this.

Another striker Christopher Rühr and captain Mats Grambusch will be other star players. The addition of star corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat – who helped Argentina win Olympic gold at Rio 2016 – will only increase the potential of the team.

India (6th in the world) India won the World Cup once in 1975, and has since failed to reach the semi-finals. They won bronze in the first edition in 1971, silver in 1973. In the previous edition, also held in Bhubaneswar, they made it to the group stage but were unable to win the quarterfinals. before the Netherlands.

From 1978 to 2014, they failed to make it past the group stage.

After years of slipping in the world game, culminating in a failure to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games – a competition they won a record eight times – India has returned to the top.

The bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games was a landmark moment for the team, followed by third place in the 2021-22 edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League.

Since Graham Reid took over as head coach, India’s stature has grown dramatically. He was able to bring out the full potential of the players, injecting tactical discipline into their signature fluidity and dexterity, transforming them into a team that was equally respected and feared.

After losing 0-7 to Australia in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games final, India improved a lot in the away series against Kookaburras. India lost 1-4 in the high series but played equally in 3 matches and scored a rare victory against a formidable opponent.

FIH Captain and Player of the Year Harmanpreet Singh, a superb defender and one of the best drag players in the game, will be a key player while PR goalkeeper Sreejesh, the main midfielder Powers Manpreet Singh and Hardik Singh, and striker Mandeep Singh are both capable of delivering game-changing moments.

Defender Amit Rohidas, who was the team’s captain in the past and also took the corners, and striker Akashdeep Singh will be among the other players to watch out for.

Netherlands (3rd in the world) Under the guidance of head coach Jeroen Delmee, the legendary Dutch defender who won two Olympic gold medals as a player, the Netherlands has found stability in form. Since taking the reins at the end of 2021, Delmee has added a significant amount of new talent to the Oranje team.

The young shooters took on the challenge in style, winning 12 of their 16 matches in the 2021-22 edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League to claim the title for the first time.

After painful defeats in the last two FIH Men’s World Cup finals, the Netherlands will aim for a lucky third this time and win the world championship for a fourth time, a feat only Pakistan can achieve. achieve.

Captain Thierry Brinkman, striker Koen Bijen, corner expert Jip Janssen and goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak will be notable players.

England (5th in the world) England have only attended a World Cup final once, in 1986, when they lost 1-2 to Australia in front of a home crowd in London. They are fourth in the last three tournaments and the current team under new head coach Paul Revington will be hoping to win their first title.

But they have come to this World Cup with a young squad, with 10 players who have no experience at this level.

Zach Wallace, Condon David, Martin Harry and Roper Phill will be among the English players to watch out for.

Spain (8th in the world)Spain hosted the World Cup for the first time in 1971. To date, at hockey’s most prestigious event, Spain has played in the final twice, in 1971 and 1998, but did not win the crown.

They will be the dark horses in Group D, which also includes India, England and Wales. Recent wins against teams like India and New Zealand will surely make them believe that a young squad can beat the best teams in the world.

Under the guidance of coach Max Caldas, Spain will look to the role of playmaker Alvaro Iglesias, Ricardo Sanchez and Enrique Gonzalez.

Korea (world number 10)After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition, South Korea got back into action at the World Cup thanks to a stellar victory at the Asian Cup, where they beat Malaysia in the final.

The team has participated in two popular tournaments in recent months, finishing as runners-up against Malaysia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in November.

Evergreen’s 39-year-old captain Namyong Lee will be one of the key players.

New Zealand (world number 9) New Zealand is set to participate in their 11th World Cup, with the Odisha event being their seventh in a row. They are yet to finish higher than seventh, a position they have reached on four separate occasions, but that could completely change this time around.

Black Sticks have always been a reliable force, blessed to have some truly world-class players in their ranks.

Defender Blair Tarrant, veteran forward Simon Child, corner expert Kane Russell, defensive midfielder Nick Ross and 19-year-old rookie Charlie Morrison could be notable players.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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