Many national teams could claim to be the most successful in the history of men’s field hockey. To settle the question, a rubric has been developed, which awards points based on tournament placement since 1920, both in the Summer Olympics and the Field Hockey World Cup. The results show that Germany, the Netherlands, and India could all make compelling cases based on their historical résumé.
16 pts – 1st Place
8 pts – 2nd Place
4 pts – Places 3-4
2 pts – Places 5-8
1 pt – Places 9 -16
TOP 5 MOST SUCCESSFUL NATIONS IN FIELD HOCKEY
1. Germany – 224 pts.
Germany won the most recent Field Hockey World Cup in 2023. They also won back to back titles in 2002 and 2006. Furthermore, the team has won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics four times (1972, 1992, 2008, and 2012). They have consistently performed well in international tournaments. After 1980, the team has only failed to make the Olympic semi-finals on one occasion. In 12 of 15 World Cups, Germany has made the semi-finals as well. Moritz Fürste and Tobias Hauke are two German players that have won the FIH Player of the Year award.
2. Netherlands – 206 pts.
The Netherlands is another highly successful national team in men’s field hockey. Their team was especially successful in the 1990’s, winning the World Cup twice and Olympic gold medal one in that decade. Teun de Nooijer helped spark their success. He is one of the best field hockey players of all time, having won the FIH Player of the Year award three times. In total, the Netherlands have won the Olympics three times and the World Cup three times. The team also made the Field Hockey World Cup final in 2014 and 2018.
3. India – 202 pts.
In the earliest decades of the sport, India‘s field hockey team was absolutely dominate. Their national team won the gold medal a record eight times. Dhyan Chand, one of the best players of all-time, helped win three of them. However, in recent times, India’s team has had little success. In fact, its national team has not won a major world field hockey tournament since 1980. With the introduction of astro-turf and modern tactics, field hockey became more about passing and less about dribbling, which helped give European teams an advantage.
4. Pakistan – 192 pts.
Another South Asian country with a rich history in field hockey is Pakistan. They have won a record four Field Hockey World Cups (in 1971, 1978, 1982, and 1994). They have also won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics three times (1960, 1968, and 1984). Shahbaz Ahmed was one of the best forwards in the world and known as the “Maradona of Hockey”. However, since the 1990’s Pakistan’s national team has had very little success in international tournaments. In fact, they did not even qualify for the last two Olympic games or the 2023 World Cup.
5. Australia – 180 pts.
Australia has become a rising force in men’s field hockey and has become increasingly successful in recent years. They have won the World Cup three times (1986, 2010, 2014), as well as the gold medal at the Olympics in 2004. Furthermore, due to their consistent success, the team has made the semi-finals in every World Cup since 1978. Australia is known for its fast and aggressive playing style, with a focus on attacking play. They have some of the best strikers and midfielders in the world, and their team is always a tough opponent in international tournaments.
HISTORIC RANKING TABLE OF ALL NATIONAL TEAMS
Russia took over Soviet Union’s records
Germany includes both East & West Germany’s records
Great Britain includes England’s successes in the Field Hockey World Cup