Spotlight on: Argentina

October 10, 2015

Alongside the Netherlands, Argentina (FIH World Ranking: 3) have been the dominant force in women’s hockey for well over a decade. 
They have won five of the last six elite Champions Trophy tournaments and also claimed the bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup and Silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Despite the retirement of iconic attacking midfielder and eight times FIH Player of the Year Luciana Aymar after the 2014 World Cup, there is no question that Argentina remain a true powerhouse of world hockey.

Delfina Merino, Carla Rebecchi and drag-flicking defender Noel Barrionuevo are all potential match winners amongst the current group, while 2014 FIH Young Player of the Year Florencia Habif is rated as one of the most exciting emerging talents in the game.

The side is coached by former men’s international player Santiago Capurro, who represented Argentina at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Nickname: Las Leonas (The Lionesses)

Key player: Carla Rebecchi. A sensational attacker who can change the game in a blink of an eye, Rebecchi is one of the most experienced players in the Argentina line-up and is always influential.

Notable honours: 

2x World champions (2002, 2010), 

2x Olympic Silver medallists (2000, 2012), 

2x Olympic Bronze medallists (2004, 2008), 

7x Champions Trophy winners (2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014),

6x Pan-American Games Gold medalists (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), 

4x Pan-American Cup winners (2001, 2004, 2009, 2013).

Additional information: Although the first women's teams were officially formed in 1909, it was the appointment of former men’s international Sergio Vigil as Head Coach in 1997 that triggered a rapid rise to greatness. Under Vigil’s leadership, Las Leonas achieved their first Hockey World Cup title, their first Olympic medals and their first Champions Trophy medals. The staggering success of the team has seen them achieve a level of fame normally reserved for their national football team, with some of the players hosting television shows and appearing in advertising campaigns for major brands. The achievements of Las Leonas has ensured that hockey is one of the most popular sports in the country, with the player and fan base continuing to grow at great speed. The team’s reputation for being tenacious even in the face of defeat was the central factor for their now legendary nickname, with the lioness being chosen as their symbol shortly after the team achieved qualification for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.


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