Dohmen marks 400th cap in style

John-John Dohmen marked his 400th international cap on a winning note as Belgium beat Spain twice over the weekend in the FIH Pro League, extending their lead at the top of the table.

Talking about his incredible caps landmark, John-John Dohmen said: “I am just really proud to have played so many games for my country, especially with these boys. I love this group. I just enjoy the journey with the team, it is just amazing. 

“Ten years ago we were nowhere in the world ranking, but now we are the best team in the world. We can be really proud of that. I am not the only one, there are a lot of old guys in this team who did the same journey as me, so we can be really proud of this.”

Belgium claimed a second FIH Hockey Pro League victory in two days over Spain, defeating the host nation 2-0 at Valencia’s Estadio Betero to open up a 14-point lead at the top of the standings.

The Red Lions – who had recorded a 3-2 triumph over the Red Sticks on Friday – scored goals in the first and second quarters, with Simon Gougnard smashing home on the backhand before competition top scorer Alexander Hendrickx doubled the advantage with a trademark penalty corner drag-flick.

Spain competed throughout the contest and created numerous goal-scoring chances. However, they could find no way past brilliant shot-stopper Vincent Vanasch, who made numerous world class saves – including a penalty stroke from Xavi Lleonart – to help his team to success in a match that was played behind closed doors under strict covid-19 protocols.

For Belgian midfielder John-John Dohmen, the result was the perfect way to mark his 400th senior international appearance, with the 33-year-old becoming only the sixth men’s player to reach this incredible milestone. The current caps world record is held by Netherlands legend Teun de Nooijer, who played 453 times for the Oranje.  

“It was a great game; it is always tight against Spain”, said Belgium’s Vanasch, who was named Player of the Match. “I am very happy that we dealt with the pressure and I’m really pleased that John John Dohmen celebrated his 400th cap for Beglium today. We could not be more proud.”