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Top 10 Greatest Field Hockey Players Of All Time 2024 Guide

Greatest Field Hockey Players

Field hockey, a sport with roots tracing back to ancient civilizations, has seen the rise of many extraordinary players over the years. These players have showcased exceptional skills and talents and contributed significantly to the growth and popularity of the sport globally. In this article, we delve into the lives and achievements of some of the greatest field hockey players to have graced the field.

Introduction to Field Hockey

Field hockey, often called hockey, is a fast-paced team sport that originated in the British Isles during the Middle Ages. PlayingPlayers play on a turf or grass field and use curved sticks to hit a small, hard ball into the opponent’s goal. With its exhilarating gameplay and strategic maneuvers, field hockey has captured the hearts of millions worldwide.

Evolution of Field Hockey Players

Over the years, the sport has witnessed a remarkable evolution in playing techniques and strategies. From traditional stickwork to modern-day dribbling skills and aerial passes, field hockey players have continually pushed the boundaries of the game’s athleticism and creativity.

Criteria for Determining Greatness

The criteria for determining the most significant field hockey players encompass various aspects such as skill level, consistency, influence on the game, sportsmanship, and achievements at both individual and team levels.

Greatest Field Hockey Players of All Time | 2024 Updates

The game’s name was initially recorded using contemporary techniques in a book written by Lord Lytton in 1853. In his writing, “On the common, some young men were playing hockey,” he first referred to the game’s name. That vintage game is now rare in England, primarily played in schools.

10. Fergus Kavanagh


Many people consider Australian field hockey player Fergus Kavanagh among the best of the modern era. He plays for the Western Australia state side in the Australian Hockey League and is a regular part of the Australian men’s national field hockey squad.

Australia won the 2010 Delhi Hockey World Cup and the 2014 The Hague World Cup, with him as a crucial player. In addition, Fergus guided his country to two bronze medals at the Olympics and a gold medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. In 2011, he also competed for Australia in the Azlan Shah Cup.

In his 191 appearances for the national team, he not only scored 14 goals but also established himself as field hockey’s top defense. His victory at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was another outstanding accomplishment.

9. Dhanraj Pillay


Dhanraj Pillay, a former field hockey player from India, was the only member of the Indian team to be selected for the World Eleven during the Sydney World Cup in 1994. In field hockey history, he is the only player to have competed in four Olympics (1992–2004), four World Cups (1990–2002), four Champions Trophies (1995–2003), and four Asian Games (1990–2002).

In addition, Pillay captained the Indian national squad, which took home gold at the Asia Cup in 2003 and the Asian Games in 1998. In 339 international games, he scored more than 170 goals. He also set a record for most goals scored at the Asian Games in Bangkok.

In 2000, he received the Padma Shri, the highest civilian award in India, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna medal. On our list of all-time great field hockey players, Pillay is now ranked eighth.

8. Jamie Dwyer


Since 2001, Australian field hockey player Jamie Dwyer has been a trailblazing member of the men’s Australian field hockey squad. Throughout his more than 250-match career, he scored more than 150 goals. He guided his country’s squad to the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Additionally, Dwyer significantly contributed to the national team’s success, as they won bronze in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. He is currently regarded as one of the all-time best field hockey players. Jamie competed for his squad at the Commonwealth Games of 2006 and 2010, where he took home a gold medal.

In addition to winning silver in the 2002 and 2006 Men’s Field Hockey World Cups, he earned the gold medal at the 2010 Men’s Hockey World Cup. In 2004 and 2007, he was awarded IHF World Player of the Year.

7. Ties Kruize


Ties Kruize, a former field hockey player from the Netherlands, is recognized by many as the most excellent penalty corner taker in field hockey history. He took home the gold medal in the 1973 Amstelveen Hockey World Cup. Then, in the 1978 Hockey World Cup in Buenos Aires, Kruize took home the Silver Medal.

He competed in the EuroHockey Nations Championship with the Dutch national team, winning the gold in Amsterdam in 1983 and the bronze in Madrid in 1974. Additionally, Kruize demonstrated his incredible stick skills in the Hockey Champions Trophy, winning the gold twice in a row in 1981 Karachi and 1982 Amstelveen.

In addition to playing for the national team, he was a trailblazing member of HC Klein Zwitserland, where he won eight straight Dutch championships between 1977 and 1984. Currently, Kruize is ranked eighth among the all-time greats in field hockey.

6. Teun de Nooijer


Many regard Teun de Nooijer, a Dutch field hockey player, as one of the best of the modern era. In addition to playing for his country, he played for HC Bloemendaal in the Netherlands and participated in the Hockey India League with the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

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On August 15, 2009, he played his 400th game as a pioneer forward for the Dutch national team, winning 5-3 against India. Nooijer was a trailblazing member of the 1996 Dutch Olympic squad. He took home gold medals at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.

Additionally, he guided his country’s squad to the Olympics finals in Athens in 2004 and London in 2012. Teun took home silver medals both times. In addition to winning the Utrecht Hockey World Cup in 1998, he also took home bronze in the World Cups of 2002 and 2010.

5. Shahbaz Ahmed


Shahbaz Ahmed, a former field hockey player from Pakistan, is regarded as one of the most excellent forwards in field hockey history. In addition, he is currently ranked fifth on our list of all-time great field hockey players. He earned the moniker “The Maradona of Hockey” for his incredible stick-dribbling abilities.

Ahmed was added to the Pakistan National Hockey Team in 1986. In 1994, he captained his squad and guided them to the Men’s Hockey World Cup title. In addition to the Pakistan national team, he played for Harvestehuder, a German club.

Following the 1996 Atlanta Games, he made another appearance with the Dutch team Oranje Zwart. Shahbaz competed in three Olympic Games and took home the bronze in 1992. In the World Cups in 1990 and 1994, he is the only player in field hockey history to win Player of the Tournament twice.

4. Hassan Sardar


Hassan Sardar, a former field hockey player from Pakistan, is recognized as the best player by the Pakistan Hockey Federation and one of the top ten field hockey players ever. As captain of the Pakistani men’s national team, he earned the gold medal and guided the squad to victory in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

In 1982, Sardar participated in his maiden World Hockey Cup in Mumbai. He demonstrated that he is the most significant center forward Pakistan has ever produced. In his debut World Cup, he emerged victorious. In addition, he scored 11 goals to win Man of the Tournament.

Sardar was also recognized for his significant role in India’s 7-1 defeat at the Asian Games in New Delhi 1982. That time, he scored a hat trick. In addition to serving as the national team’s manager and head coach, he is currently the Chief Selector for Pakistan’s field hockey team.

3. Ric Charlesworth


A former Australian field hockey player, Coach Ric Charlesworth was awarded the Advance Australia Award in 1984 for his outstanding contributions to the sport. He participated in five Olympics as a pioneering member of the Australian team, and from 1972 to 1988, he was captain of two of those games.

In 1986, Ric guided his country’s squad to victory at the World Hockey Cup held in London. He received a record-tying three nominations for Western Australian Sportsman of the Year. 2001, he was also granted the title of Western Australia Citizen of the Year. In 1987, Ric was admitted to the Australian Hockey Hall of Fame.

Thus, he became the second player to receive that distinction. In 1995, he was also admitted into Western Australia’s Hall of Champions. In 2000, he received the Australian Sports Medal in recognition of his outstanding career. Ric is now ranked third on our list of the ten best field hockey players of all time.

2. Sohail Abbas


Sohail Abbas, a Pakistani field hockey player, is regarded as the country’s genius. In addition, he is viewed by fans as one of the all-time best field hockey players. In the current era of field hockey, he is the top scorer. The first individual in history to score 300 goals is Sohail.

In the history of international hockey, he broke the 100- and 200-goal barrier the quickest. Sohail is considered the best flicker because of his remarkable 65% drag-flick conversion rate. With his 60 goals in 1999, he also holds the record for most goals in a calendar year.

It’s interesting to note that in 2004, he almost broke his record with 59 goals. In international games, he is the only person in history to record 21 hat tricks, including a double hat trick. In his three World Cup appearances, he has scored 16 goals, making him Pakistan’s best scorer overall.

1. Dhyan Chand


Dhyan Chand, an Indian field hockey player, is recognized by many as the best player. Supporters regard him as the most outstanding Olympian athlete of all time. During his career, India was the hockey team with the most dominance. From 1928 to 1936, they won three gold medals at the Olympics.

He scored over a thousand goals over a career spanning from 1926 to 1948. He earned the moniker “The Wizard” as a result. His enchanted stickwork drew Audiences from various sites to the Olympic hockey field. He was featured in a German publication with the headline, “The Olympic complex now has a magic show, too.”

Fascinating fact: Dhyan Chand turned down an opportunity from Fuhrer to become a colonel in the Nazi army because he was so impressed with his abilities. The authorities in the Netherlands once smashed his stick because of his incredible skill. They performed that before a game to determine whether the hockey stick contained a magnet. On December 3, 1979, this magician passed away.


Field hockey is home to many incredible abilities and a wealth of noteworthy knowledge. It was first made popular by the British Empire, which dispersed it throughout its sphere of influence. Ultimately, that was the only factor contributing to field hockey’s enormous appeal. It first gained popularity in the majority of the subcontinents, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

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