Dhyan Chand was the greatest player the sport has known. His astounding skills have been glorified in various apocryphal stories and anecdotes. A number of such legends revolve around the fact that he had a magical control over dribbling the ball.
He played as the centre forward at three Olympic Games for India winning Gold Medals at Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angeles in 1932 and Berlin in 1936 where he was the captain.
He was a member of the first Indian overseas army team that toured New Zealand in 1926. The team played 21 matches and scored 192 goals with Dhyan Chand scoring over one hundred.
At the Amsterdam Olympics he scored twice as India beat the Netherlands 3-0 in the final.
Four years later at the Los Angeles Olympics India defeated USA 24-1 with Dhyan Chand bagging eight.
At the Berlin Olympics, India cruised to the final beating Hungary 4-0, USA 7-0, Japan 9-0 and France 10-0. In the final against Germany, India scored only once until half time. During the break the maestro removed his shoes to play barefoot and guide India to an emphatic 8-1 victory.
The wizard kept playing till the age of 42 and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1956.
The country celebrates his birthday, 29 August, as National Sports Day when the President of India gives away all sports awards.