While stars Diego Armando Maradona and Lionel Messi have made Argentina known worldwide as a football powerhouse, the country has also made a name for itself in field hockey.

The Argentinean women’s field hockey team won medals at four consecutive Olympic Games led by Luciana Paula Aymar, often considered the best field hockey player of all time and a true Panam Sports legend.

Aymar captained a select group of women who carried the albiceleste flag to the Olympic and Pan Am podiums in a career that lasted from 1997 to 2014. She also carried the Argentine flag at the Rio de Janeiro 2007 Pan Am Games and London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Born on August 10, 1977, the captain of “Las Leonas” triumphed time and again in competitions across the globe. Known as ‘The Magician’ for the way she moved and advanced the ball, Aymar led Argentina to two world championships (2002, 2010), two Olympic silver medals (Sydney 2000, London 2012) and two Olympic bronzes (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008).

Luciana is also a three-time Pan American Games champion, with all three golds earned against the United States team. Argentina won each gold medal match by at least two goals, defeating Team USA 5-2 at Winnipeg 1999, 3-1 in Santo Domingo 2003 and 4-2 for their last Pan Am gold at Rio 2007.

Aymar is the only field hockey player in history to be chosen eight times as the best hockey player of the year by the International Hockey Federation. In 2008, the federation also gave her the distinguished recognition as the best hockey player in history, simply calling her the ‘Legend of Hockey’.

Fans across the Americas had the honor of watching ‘The Magician’ compete throughout an illustrious career that will stand unmatched for years. Luciana Aymar embodied the spirit of a competitor and defender of Argentina and will always be known as a Panam Sports legend.