The Hockey World Cup 2023 will be played once again in India. It will be held from January 13 to 29 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. 16 teams will participate in the tournament. These teams are divided into four groups. Wales and Chile will be the new entrants and a total of 27 countries would have played at the end of the 15th edition.
The tournament started in 1971 and takes place once every four years. The first three editions were held within a span of two years since then the time frame has been four years. FIH was looking to add more teams and extend the tally to 24 teams but in the end, stuck on to 16 teams. Pakistan won the inaugural edition and is the most successful team winning four times followed by the Netherlands (3), Australia (3), and Germany (2). Here we take a look at the countries which had won the most titles at the Hockey World Cup.
Hockey World Cup 2023: Most titles by countries
1. Pakistan | 4 Wins
Pakistan is the most successful team in the Hockey Men’s World Cup, they are four-time (1971, 1978, 1981, and 1994) world hockey champions. But however, Despite being the world’s dominant side they aren’t even able to qualify for the World Cup (2014 and 2023). They finished 12th in the last two editions they participated in (2010 and 2018). Due to their inability to finish among the top four spots in the Asia Cup, will miss the Hockey World Cup 2023 as well.
2. Netherlands | 3 Wins
The Netherlands has won the titles thrice (1973,1990, and 1998), and finished runner-up four times. They finished second in the last two editions in 2014 and 2018 losing to Belgium and Australia. They will look to get past the last hurdle in the 2023 edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup. The Netherlands was also the first country to win the World Cup as host in 1973.
3. Australia | 3 Wins
Apart from not qualifying in the 1973 edition Australia has played in all other Men’s Hockey World Cups and is the most dominant side as well. In the last 11 editions, they have finished in the podium places in ten editions and finished fourth in 1998 the only time when they couldn’t finish inside the top three. They have also won the world cup thrice in 1986, 2010, and 2014.
4. Germany | 2 Wins
From 1971 to 1990 West Germany was taking part in the World Cup and since the 1994 edition, Germany has taken part consistently. Germany has been a dominant side in the late 1990s and 2000s and progressed to the finals in three consecutive editions winning twice in 2002 and 2006. Most of their wins have come in that period with the recent performances not satisfactory compared to their previous form.
5. India | 1 Win
India is one of the few countries to have participated in all the Men’s Hockey World Cups. But still is not inside the top five. India in the first three editions finished only in the podium places and won the World Cup in 1975 but since then has never finished inside the podium places. The reason in the initial stages during the 1980s is due to the introduction of astroturfs which the Indians weren’t used to. The team is progressing well and recently won the bronze at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
6. Belgium | 1 Win
Belgium is the defending champion, having won the last edition of the World Cup in 2018. Belgium won the tournament for the first time after defeating the Netherlands 3–2 in the final on a penalty shoot-out after a 0–0 draw. Defending champions Australia won the third-place match by defeating England 8–1 in the third-place playoff of the Odisha men’s hockey world cup 2018.