Men's Hockey World Cup 2018: 5 goalkeepers to watch out for
#3 Quico Cortes (Spain)
Goalkeepers of the top sides in the world have the comfort of being positioned behind an array of world-class talent and are called into action only when the opposition have painstakingly managed to get past a formidable defensive structure.
Spare a thought for those custodians who do not have the benefit of an elaborate cover, but have faced the odds primarily by themselves -- the Spaniards need to thank their veteran goalkeeper for helping them make it all the way to Bhubaneswar by virtue of a stupendous show at the HWL Semifinals in Johannesburg last year.
The Red Sticks have often resorted to a stubborn and dogged defensive strategy but in spite of withdrawing all their troops into their own territory, find themselves perched at the eighth position of the world rankings largely due to the efforts of their stalwart in goal -- Quico Cortes.
When the pool stages of the World Cup begin, the biggest challenge for Argentina and New Zealand in Pool A may well be to get one past the Catalan goalie who was instrumental in catapulting the Ranchi Rhinos all the way to the top in the inaugural season of the Hockey India League.
Cortes and Sergi Enrique were part of a squad that witnessed the heights of glory over a decade ago when Spain won bronze at the 2006 World Cup in Mönchengladbach and silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Age, and time, it appears have failed to blunt either their prowess or their enthusiasm for the game.