Monday, December 11, 2023

‘Interesting option’: Argentina star Gonzalo Peillat granted German citizenship

Gonzalo Peillat, the Argentinian regarded as one of world hockey’s best dragflickers, has acquired German citizenship and hinted at a desire to gain selection for the national team.

Peillat, 29, fell out with Argentinian coach German Orozco after the 2018 World Cup in India – his last major match came when England beat Los Leones to reach the semi-finals – and has been in the international wilderness since early 2019.

The defender has played for Mannheimer HC in the Bundesliga for the last six years and gained his German passport earlier this month.

DHB sports director Christoph Menke-Salz said that the programme would continue to promote young athletes but Peillat presented “an interesting option” for the Honamas.

Peillat has lived in Mannheim for six seasons

The DHB said it has applied to the FIH for permission to use Peillat, top scorer at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio where Argentina won gold, as new national coach Andre Henning looks towards Paris 2024.

“I’ve been living and working in Germany for more than six years, where I spend most of the year, so I plan to continue to plan my life in Mannheim,” said Peillat, who moved to Germany from Dutch side HGC.

“Just because I now have a German passport doesn’t mean that I’m part of the team. National coach André will decide whether I can play for Germany.

“In order to play, I have to add value to the team and earn my place and I have decided to play international [hockey] again.”

Peillat is not the only Los Leones player to take up residency with another national side. Joaquín Menini, who also won Olympic gold in 2016, is now playing for Spain under Max Caldas.

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