There are quite a lot of strong contenders to lift the 2023 edition of the Odisha FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup to be played in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela starting from January 13. Let’s have a look at the top contenders of the marquee event.
Germany have many experienced players in their ranks. The Germans have a rich hockey history and they have scripted many significant achievements. Under head coach Eric Langner, they will try their best to add a third World Cup to their trophy cabinet. Previously, they won the coveted trophy in 2002 and 2006. Players like Christopher Rühr will be key to their performance in the mega event.
As hosts, India are strong contender for the coveted trophy. Under experienced coach Graham Reid, the Men in Blue have had a few good outings recently at the international stage with Asia Cup bronze, Tokyo Olympic bronze, Birmingham Commonwealth silver and third place in the Pro League. This will be the second successive edition that India will be hosting the mega event and the team’s recent success has heightened expectations. India have won the World Cup only once and they will be eager to make amends.
The Dutch have won the World Cup thrice. However, they have finished as runners-up in the last two editions. Under head coach Jeroen Delmee, they will be looking forward to emerge champions in 2023 edition of the mega event.
The Red Lions are the defending champions of the Hockey World Cup. They are a determined and fighting unit. They have enjoyed the top ranking in large stretches since their exploits in the last edition. They are also the defending Olympic champions. No doubt, they are a true contender.
Australia are currently the number one team in FIH ranking. They are also the toughest contender in the tournament. The three-time champions of the tournament hold the best winning and goal scoring record in the 48 years of the World Cup. Out of 92 matches they played, they won 69 with a winning percentage of 75. Their goal scoring average of 3.31 goals per game sees them at the top of the goal scoring chart by quite a margin. In Odisha, they will be looking to equal Pakistan for the most number of Men’s Hockey World Cup trophies.