Bhubaneswar, Feb 5 (IANS) World No. 8 Spain men’s hockey team arrived in India on Monday ahead of their FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 matches. The Spanish national team led by Marc Miralles landed at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, Odisha and will play matches at Kalinga Stadium and Rourkela as part of this leg of matches.
The 2023/24 FIH Hockey Pro League (Men) is scheduled to take place at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar from February 10-16, before moving to the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, where the league will continue from 19-19 of February 25.
Five national teams — Ireland, Netherlands, India, Spain and Australia — will take part in the Indian phase of the 2023/24 FIH Hockey Pro League (Men), once in Bhubaneswar and once in Rourkela.
Spain will play their first match of the 2023/24 FIH Hockey Pro League (Men’s) on February 10 against hosts India, followed by a match against Australia the following day. They will then face the world No. 1 team Netherlands on February 13 and Ireland on February 15 in their final match of the Bhubaneswar leg before heading to Rourkela.
When asked about the importance of the tournament after landing in Bhubaneswar, Spain captain Marc Miralles said, “It is a crucial tournament for us. A couple of weeks ago we qualified for the Olympics. It’s important for us to play very well in our eight games to get as many points as possible.”
When asked about the toughest team, Miralles said: “We played a very tough game against Ireland in the Olympic qualifiers. The Netherlands are the defending champions and India are playing at home, so I think we will have some fun games.”
He signed off by saying, “We are in good shape after playing the Olympic qualifiers recently. We have trained well in the gym and are ready for the challenge.”