Manpreet Singh, captain of the Indian men's hockey team has been awarded the FIH Player of the Award for 2019.
The awards were instituted by the FIH in the year 1998 with some legendary names of the hockey world making it to the list of winners.
Two-time Olympic gold-medalist Stephen Veen won the award in 1998 and 2000 while his Dutch teammate Teun de Nooijer came out on top in 2003, 2005, and 2006.
Jamie Dwyer won the FIH Best Player Award in 2004 after having won the junior award in 2003. The Aussie great also won the award in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
Moritz Furste was chosen for the award by the FIH in 2012 while German teammate Tobias Hauke was rewarded for his efforts in 2013.
Aussie Mark Knowles was the Best Player in 2014 and rise of the Belgians resulted in John-Dohmen winning the award in 2016. Arthur van Doren also won two consecutive awards in 2017 and 2018 with Luca Vila of Argentina beating the competition to win the award in 2019.
Manpreet Singh made his debut in 2011 and has more than 260 international caps to his name. The midfielder was captain of the side that won the FIH Series Finals and the Olympic qualifiers last year.
The 27-year-old is a two-time Olympian having represented India at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and won the 2019 award ahead of Arthur van Doren and Lucas Vila.
Manpreet won 53% of all national association votes, 19.5% of all media votes, 15.1% of fan/player votes, and 35.2% of all combined votes.
Young Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami of India had earlier won the FIH Rising Star Awards for 2019.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil congratulated the winners of the FIH Awards following the announcements.
"On behalf of FIH, I would like to extend heartfelt congratulations from the whole hockey community to all winners of the 2019 FIH Stars Awards and also to all nominees. Thanks to their skills and performances, as well as their teammates, they invite fans all over the world to experience great emotions. We are very grateful to them. Athletes, as well as coaches, are the best ambassadors of our sport. I wish all of them every success, in particular those who are involved in the FIH Hockey Pro League and/or the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
Manpreet Singh is currently leading the Indians in the FIH Pro League 2020 where the hosts have enthralled their fans with great performances against the Netherlands and World Champions Belgium.