The Olympic Champions’ tag wouldn’t matter and Argentina will have to produce their best at the upcoming men’s hockey World Cup, believes dragflick sensation Gonzalo Peillat, who said converting penalty corners will remain the team’s strength.
“I don’t think being World No.2 or the Olympic Champions would matter here in this tournament as every other team would have come with the intention to win. We have to focus on every game and play our best hockey,” Peillat said after arriving here on Wednesday.
“Everybody knows penalty corners will be our strong point and it’s important to give our 100 per cent in all aspects,” he added. World No 2 Argentina on Wednesday received a warm welcome as they arrived here at the Biju Patnaik International Airport for the World Cup beginning on November 28.
“It will be a great tournament, playing in Bhubaneswar again in front of a crazy crowd, the entire team is looking forward to it and are very excited to be back,” said Peillat, who was part of the Argentina team that won the silver medal at the men’s Hockey World League Final last year.
Argentina have been grouped in Pool A along side Spain, New Zealand and France. They will begin their campaign against Spain on November 29 at the newly-renovated Kalinga Stadium here.
The Olympic Champions have a new chief coach in Germán Mariano Orozco, who replaced Carlos Retegui in early 2018 and is a former defender for Argentina having played the Olympic Games in 2000 and 2004.
“I think experience in the team is very good. We have played quite a few tournaments in the lead up to the World Cup under a new coach Germán Mariano Orozco and we have been performing well under him,” said a confident Peillat.
Argentina in the previous World Cup in 2014 at The Hague, Netherlands had finished third behind winners Australia and runners-up the Netherlands and went on to win the Olympic gold in Rio.