best hockey players

The historical origins of hockey, encompassing both field hockey and ice hockey, are thought to have roots in Ireland and/or Scotland. Evolving from games like ‘Hurling’ in Ireland and the Scottish equivalent known as Shinty, these sports gained widespread popularity among the masses.

Over time, diverse iterations of the game have emerged, showcasing its adaptability and appeal. Notable examples include the Chinese variant named Beikou, as well as the version known as Cheikou, played by European settlers in Chile.

In the present day, the sport has transcended geographical boundaries, establishing itself as one of the most universally embraced games across the globe.

With this foundation, let us now delve into the compilation of the 10 best hockey players in the world.

Below is the list of the 10 best hockey players in the world:

RankName of the Hockey Player
1Dhyan Chand
2Sohail Abbas
3Ric Charlesworth
4Hassan Sardar
5Teun de Nooijer
6Shahbaz Ahmed
7Ties Kruize
8Dhanraj Pillay
9Jamie Dwyer
10Fergus Kavanagh

Below are the details of the 10 best hockey players in the world:

1. Dhyan Chand:

Dhyan Chand, the iconic Indian field hockey player, is widely known among the best hockey players in the sport’s history. Many fans also consider him the finest athlete in Olympic history.

During his career, India dominated hockey, securing three consecutive Olympic gold medals from 1928 to 1936.

He earned the moniker ‘The Wizard’ by scoring over 1000 goals from 1926 to 1948. His mesmerising stickwork drew spectators to the Olympic hockey field from various other events.

A German newspaper ran the headline “The Olympic complex now has a magic show too” to describe his prowess.

Dhyan Chand’s skills left a lasting impression on many, including Fuhrer, who offered him a position as a Colonel in the Nazi army—a proposal Dhyan declined.

His exceptional talent was so extraordinary that Dutch authorities once broke his stick before a match to check if it contained a magnet. Dhyan Chand, the wizard of the sport, passed away on December 3, 1979.

2. Sohail Abbas

Sohail Abbas, hailing from Pakistan, is celebrated as a remarkable talent and is widely acknowledged as one of the best hockey players in history.

He holds the esteemed title of being the highest scorer in modern field hockey, being the first player to achieve the impressive milestone of 300 goals.

He set records by becoming the fastest player to reach both the 100 and 200 goal marks in the annals of international hockey. Of particular note is Sohail’s exceptional prowess in executing drag flicks, showcased by an extraordinary 65% conversion rate.

He also boasts the distinction of having the most goals scored within a single calendar year, an impressive feat achieved with 60 goals in 1999. Nearly breaking his record in 2004, he scored an impressive 59 goals.

Sohail Abbas’s accomplishments further include an astonishing 21 hat tricks and even a double hat trick in international matches, a feat that remains unmatched. Moreover, he remains Pakistan’s all-time leading goal scorer in World Cups, amassing 16 goals over three appearances.

3. Ric Charlesworth

Ric Charlesworth is among the former Australian best hockey players. He was also a coach, and garnered recognition through the prestigious Advance Australia Award in 1984, acknowledging his outstanding contributions to the sport.

A foundational member of the Australian team, Ric actively participated in five Olympics, twice assuming the role of captain between 1972 and 1988.

Under Ric’s leadership, the national team achieved a triumph in the World Hockey Cup in London in 1986. His achievements include clinching the title of Western Australian Sportsman of the Year on three separate occasions and receiving the Western Australia Citizen of the Year Award in 2001.

In 1987, his exceptional journey led to his induction into the Australian Hockey Hall of Fame, securing him the position as the second player to receive this esteemed accolade. Additionally, he gained entry into the Hall of Champions in Western Australia in 1995. To cap off his remarkable career, Ric was honoured with the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

At present, Ric Charlesworth holds the distinguished third rank in our list of the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time.

4. Hassan Sardar

Hassan Sardar is among the former Pakistani best hockey players. He holds a distinguished position among the top 10 greatest field hockey players in history and is notably hailed as the finest player produced by the Pakistan Hockey Federation.

His legacy is highlighted by his remarkable leadership and achievement in the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, where he captained the Pakistan men’s national hockey team to secure the gold medal.

Sardar’s journey to prominence began with his participation in the 1982 World Hockey Cup in Mumbai. During this event, he showcased his exceptional skills as a centre forward, earning him the reputation as the best centre forward to emerge from Pakistan.

Notably, in this debut World Cup appearance, Sardar clinched victory for Pakistan and stood out by securing the coveted title. His performance was further accentuated by his exceptional goal-scoring prowess, resulting in him being honoured as the Man of the Tournament with an impressive tally of 11 goals.

Among his standout achievements, Sardar’s pivotal role in Pakistan’s triumphant victory against India in the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi remains noteworthy.

On this significant occasion, he contributed significantly by leading his team to a resounding 7-1 victory, and he achieved a remarkable hat trick.

Presently, Sardar continues to contribute to the field of hockey. He occupies the prestigious position of Chief Selector for the Pakistan field hockey team, a testament to his ongoing commitment and influence in the sport.

Furthermore, he has assumed the dual responsibilities of both head coach and manager for the national team, underscoring his dedication to nurturing the growth and success of the next generation of hockey players.

5. Teun de Nooijer

Another notable figure in the realm of Dutch best hockey players, Teun de Nooijer stands tall as one of the premier talents in the modern era of the sport.

His contributions span not only the national team but extend to various elite teams, exemplifying his versatility and impact across diverse arenas.

Notable among these affiliations are the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Indian Hockey League and the esteemed Dutch team HC Bloemendaal.

Among his remarkable achievements, he proudly boasts of clinching gold medals on two momentous occasions: the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

As a testament to his leadership prowess, he ascended to the role of skipper and steered his team to the grand stage of the finals in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, underlining his ability to rally his teammates toward excellence on the international stage.

This distinguished Dutch field hockey player not only embodies extraordinary athleticism but also serves as a beacon of inspiration, consistently raising the bar for performance in the sport.

His contributions, whether donning the national colours or representing his various teams, showcase a dedication to excellence that firmly establishes him as a true luminary in the world of modern field hockey.

6. Shahbaz Ahmed

Shahbaz Ahmed, a former Pakistani field hockey player, stands prominently as one of the best hockey players in the history of Field Hockey. Holding the fifth spot on our compilation of the best hockey players ever, he earned the moniker “The Maradona of Hockey” due to his mesmerising dribbling finesse with the stick.

In 1986, Ahmed solidified his place as a member of the Pakistan National Hockey Team. Notably, he assumed the role of captain, steering his team to a triumphant victory in the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 1994.

Beyond his contributions to the Pakistan national team, he showcased his talents in the international arena by representing the German club Harvestehuder.

Subsequently, Ahmed’s journey led him to the Dutch club Oranje Zwart after he participated in the 1996 Atlanta Games. His illustrious career includes appearances in three Olympic Games, with the 1992 Olympics securing him a prestigious bronze medal.

One remarkable distinction he holds is being the sole player in Field Hockey history to garner consecutive Player of the Tournament accolades in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

7. Ties Kruize

Ties Kruize is one of the best hockey players from the Netherlands. He is celebrated for his exceptional skills as an unrivalled penalty corner specialist in the history of the sport.

His legacy was firmly established with a triumphant Gold medal win in the Amstelveen Hockey World Cup of 1973, closely followed by a Silver medal achievement in the 1978 Buenos Aires Hockey World Cup.

Integral to the Dutch national team, Kruize’s influence extended to the EuroHockey Nations Championship. His accomplishments include clinching a gold medal during the 1983 Amsterdam tournament and securing a bronze medal in the 1974 Madrid edition.

Kruize’s mastery of stick handling was also evident in the Hockey Champions Trophy, where he achieved consecutive gold medals in the 1981 Karachi and 1982 Amstelveen events.

Outside of his national team contributions, Kruize played a pioneering role with the HC Klein Zwitserland club. His tenure there was characterised by an impressive streak of eight consecutive Dutch title victories, spanning from 1977 to 1984, underscoring his lasting impact on the sport.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Kruize holds a prominent position as the seventh-ranked individual among the roster of the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time, serving as a testament to his enduring influence on the landscape of the game.

8. Dhanraj Pillay

Up next, we shine a spotlight on the legendary figure of Indian field hockey, Dhanraj Pillay. His remarkable presence was etched into history when he stood as the sole Indian to be featured in the esteemed World XI side during the 1994 World Cup held in Sydney.

Embarking on a distinguished journey, Pillay’s participation spanned across four Olympics, from 1992 to 2004. His influence further extended as he assumed the mantle of leadership, serving as the captain of the Indian field hockey team.

Throughout his illustrious career, Pillay showcased his exceptional talent by amassing a remarkable tally of more than 170 goals across 339 international games.

His impactful contributions to the realm of hockey were fittingly honoured with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the revered Padma Shri in 2000, acknowledging his invaluable role in the sport’s landscape

9. Jamie Dwyer

Securing the ninth spot on our esteemed list, we turn our attention to Australia’s one of the best hockey players, Jamie Dwyer. As a pioneering figure within the Australian field hockey team, Dwyer’s remarkable leadership proved instrumental in propelling his team to seize the coveted gold medal during the illustrious 2004 Summer Olympics.

Standing tall as a trailblazer in his own right, Dwyer’s impact is further underscored by a distinguished career marked by unparalleled achievements.

With a remarkable tally of more than 250 matches played, Dwyer’s enduring commitment to the sport is evident. A testament to his exceptional prowess, he has impressively amassed a goal count exceeding 150, a feat that highlights his remarkable contributions to his team’s triumphs.

Embracing his role as a cornerstone player, Dwyer played an instrumental part in steering his team to triumph in both the 2006 and 2008 Commonwealth Games—a reflection of his unwavering dedication and unmatched skill.

Amidst the intricacies of the field, Dwyer’s influence extends beyond athletic prowess. Regarded as one of the premier tacticians in the sport, his strategic insights have significantly shaped his team’s trajectory, adding depth to his legacy.

As the curtains draw on his exceptional journey, Jamie Dwyer’s legacy remains etched as a testament to his multifaceted contributions, underscoring his role as a true icon in the realm of field hockey.

10. Fergus Kavanagh

Concluding our exploration, we turn our focus towards the illustrious Australian field hockey sensation, Fergus Kavanagh. Hailed by a multitude as one of the best hockey players within the realm of modern field hockey, Kavanagh commands respect as a stalwart member of the revered Australian men’s field hockey team.

In the domestic arena, his allegiance lies with the Western State team, a formidable contender within the highly competitive Australian Hockey League.

Kavanagh’s adeptness in leadership became manifest through remarkable achievements, notably his role in steering his team to triumph in both the prestigious 2010 Delhi Hockey World Cup and the highly coveted 2014 Hague World Cup.

His indelible contributions transcended these momentous victories, extending to securing medals of distinction in other celebrated events such as the esteemed Commonwealth Games and the grandeur of the Olympics.

Amid a tapestry of remarkable achievements, a pinnacle stands tall—his crowning moment of triumph in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, an accomplishment that resonates as a testament to his unwavering dedication and remarkable skill set.

As the curtains draw on our overview, Fergus Kavanagh’s legacy emerges as an unassailable testament to his extraordinary talent, dynamic leadership, and unwavering commitment to the sport.

His presence in the world of field hockey remains a beacon, illuminating a path of excellence and setting a remarkable precedent for generations to come.


In conclusion, the top 10 best hockey players in the world stand as living legends, each leaving an indelible mark on the sport’s history. From their remarkable achievements to their exceptional skills, these players have redefined excellence and continue to inspire generations of athletes and fans alike.

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