Delfina Merino is a two-time Olympic silver medalist and a gold medalist at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup in 2010. She was also voted as the FIH Player of the Year 2017!
With the myriad of team and individual awards, there are few who can match Delfina Merino’s resumé in the world of hockey; and as we launch the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2021-22, we caught up with her to discuss her win in the 2017 FIH Hockey Stars Awards, and plenty more!
How did you feel when you won the FIH Hockey Stars Award for the best women’s player?
I was surprised when I found out I was nominated, but it was a pleasant surprise. Winning it was a great feeling! To be with other top players, getting recognized for my game.
Hockey at all levels needs recognition, which also applies for the top level doesn’t it? How did you feel trading in your jersey for an evening of glamour honouring the absolute best players in hockey?
In hockey there are highs and lows. You have to embrace them both. You learn from your low points but high points like these also should be celebrated just as much. It was 4 unbelievable days in Berlin, where the ceremony was held.
There are a lot of young players who have looked up to you and your achievements. Who were some of your role models in the sport?
I have been a hockey fanatic since the age of 10-11. So, for me, the biggest role models were Luciana Aymar, Soledad García, Vanina Oneto, who were all from Argentina and specifically attacking players.
Who are a few players on the world stage now that are seriously impressing you, ahead of the Stars Awards?
Right now, I am a big fan of how Xan de Waard (NED) plays. I played club hockey with her in the past and she was really good then, but has gotten even better now. From Argentina I really like how Sofía Toccalino has been playing and improving the midfield.
You have had a spectacular career in hockey so far, with even more to come. But if you had to pick, what has been the single greatest moment of your career so far?
I’m grateful for all the nice moments I have had in my career. But the biggest highlights were the 5 Champions trophies we won, and of course the Gold in the 2010 World Cup. The best part about the World Cup was that it was early in my career and I was playing with some legends I had admired for years. The World Cup being in Argentina was amazing too. The support we had from the home fans, our families and friends, and the fact that we could win it for them, was just perfect.
The FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2021-22 nominations have been revealed and the voting is now open. Vote for your favourite players here.