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Manpreet Singh named FIH Men's Player of the Year 2019

Manpreet Singh is the first Indian to win the FIH Men's Player of the Year award. PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra

LAUSANNE -- The Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh was on Thursday named Player of the Year for 2019 by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The midfielder is the first Indian to win the accolade since the award was introduced in 1999.

Manpreet beat competition from Belgium's Arthur van Dorren and Lucas Villa of Argentina, who came second and third respectively.

Talking about the 2019 season, Manpreet said, "If you look at our year, we did well in every tournament we participated in. Be it the FIH Series Finals in June or the test series in Belgium where we played the hosts as well as Spain and beat them.

"Our biggest goal in 2019 was to book our berth at the Olympics."

The team achieved that goal in style, beating Russia in the Olympic qualifiers over two legs -- 4-2 and 7-2.