As John-John Dohmen stepped onto the field for the 454th time for Belgium, in their game against England in the EuroHockey Championships 2023 today, he went past Teun de Nooijer’s record, to become the highest capped player of all time in international hockey.
Teun de Nooijer’s record of 453 caps for Netherlands had stood for over a decade, with the Dutch superstar playing his final game at the Olympic Games London 2012, where he won a silver medal, calling curtains on an incredible career that included two Olympic gold medals, two Olympic silver medals, a World Cup gold and plenty more.
John-John Dohmen’s incredible international career began all the way back in 2004, at the age of 16! His career has spanned nearly two decades already and he has been an integral part of the golden generation of Belgian hockey that has won it all, including an Olympic gold, a World Cup title and a European hockey gold, in a span of three years between 2019 to 2021!
As an all-action midfielder, Dohmen has been the heart and soul of the Belgian team contributing in both attack and defence. His game is best known for his ability to break opposition’s moves and launch attacking moves for the Red Lions, but he also possesses an uncanny knack for scoring goals at crucial moments, having scored 52 international goals in his career so far. These include goals in the semi-finals of their successful Olympic Games campaign in Tokyo 2020 against India, as well as a goal in the finals of the EuroHockey Championships in 2019 against Spain.
Dohmen has been at the top of the game for much of his career, and was thrice nominated for the FIH Player of the Year award through the mid 2010s. After narrowly missing out on the honour in 2013 and 2015, he was finally recognised as the best men’s player in International Hockey in 2016.
At 35, John-John Dohmen remains an integral part of the Belgium team that continues to challenge for the top honours. In 2023, Belgium narrowly missed out on the title at the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup, losing against Germany in the finals in the shoot-outs. They also went close to winning the FIH Hockey Pro League title in the 2022/23 season, narrowly falling short in the final game of the season.
With their eyes set on reclaiming the European Hockey Championship title, as well as retaining their Olympic gold medal at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Belgium will continue to rely on the experience of John-John Dohmen, as he extends his record as the most capped player in the history of Hockey.
List of most capped international hockey players:
454 – John-John Dohmen (BEL)*
453 – Teun de Nooijer (NED)
432 – Barry Middleton (GBR)
427 – Eddie Ockenden (AUS)*
412 – Dilip Tirkey (IND)
410 – Waseem Ahmed (PAK)
401 – Jeroen Delmee (NED)
* Currently active