Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh created history on Thursday as he became first Indian hockey team players to win the FIH Men’s player of the year award since it’s inception in 1999.
Manpreet beat competition from Belgium’s Arthur van Dorren and Lucas Villa of Argentina, who came second and third respectively.
Congratulations to 2019 FIH Player of the year (Men) – @manpreetpawar07— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) February 13, 2020
Manpreet Singh (IND) -35.2% of combined votes
Arthur Van Doren (BEL) -19.7% of combined votes
Lucas Vila (ARG) -11.7 % of combined votes
Breakdown: https://t.co/xmsM0jS82C#HockeyStarsAwards pic.twitter.com/Zvq3TiPzcg
Talking about the 2019 season, Manpreet said, “If you look at our year, we did well in every tournament we participated in. Be it the FIH Series Finals in June or the test series in Belgium where we played the hosts as well as Spain and beat them.”Our biggest goal in 2019 was to book our berth at the Olympics.”
“I am truly honoured to win this award and I would like to dedicate this to my team. I also thank my well wishers and hockey fans from around the world for voting in my favour. It is truly humbling to see so much support for Indian hockey,” Manpreet said.
Manpreet, who made his international debut in 2011, has won 263 caps for the national team and has played two Olympics – London 2012 and Rio 2016. He was made the captain of the side in 2017 as India finished fifth at the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar, his first big assignment as captain.
In 2019, Manpreet Singh led the team to victory in the FIH Series Finals and the Olympic Qualifiers, as India secured a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. During this year, India also reached the finals of the 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and won the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo while also winning five matches on the trot in Antwerp, Belgium where it played three matches against the host and two matches against Spain.