Peillat ready to set the stage alight

Peillat ready to set the stage alight

Among the players tipped to set the ongoing Hockey World League Finals here on fire is Gonzalo Peillat. And there's enough evidence to that prediction.

The gifted 25-year-old Argentine drag-flicker pumped in 10 goals at the World Cup in 2014 where the Los Leones clinched a first-ever bronze medal. He then gave another exhibition of his natural talent at the Rio Olympics last year where he nailed 11 goals as Argentina claimed a historic gold medal. In both the tournaments where Argentina surprised the hockey fraternity with brilliant all-round performances, Peillat led the show in emerging as the highest scorer.

Shy in nature, the muscular Peillat said he's not distracted by his rising fame. "Well, it's a great feeling to be considered as one of stars here. I try not to pay too much attention to those things. I think about what I can do for the team today and improve for the coming games. We have a lot of goal scorers in the team and there's strong competition. I feel very confident at the moment."

Over the last four years Argentina have made rapid strides in world hockey. Not only are they the reigning Olympic champions but they are also the number one side in the world. And they've achieved this despite limited facilities as compared to Australia or European top guns the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. In a bid to make themselves sharper, just like their footballers, the Argentines have no option but to play and train in Europe.

"In Argentina the competition is not really good," Peillat offered. "That's why we have half of the team playing in Europe at the moment. We have 15-16 players playing in Europe. From that we get the 11 we need and we train together in Argentina. For this tournament we trained three months together everyday. I think that's the way. If we stay in Argentina we cannot improve so we go to Europe to get the best 11."

Normally it's the Argentine women's hockey who are extremely popular, thanks to their impressive achievements on field, and the men's team even lags way behind the football team. Peillat opined that things are changing since their Rio heroics.

"I think after the Olympics that mentality changed a little bit. Hockey has started to become bigger and bigger. Hockey was famous for the girls but these days we get equal support. We get good television coverage and that's good for us. It boosts us. I think it's quite difficult and long process to match the women's popularity because the girls they are very famous. I think we've got some fans after the Olympics. We will take some time."

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry