Suriname vice president Ronnie Brunswijk made history by becoming the oldest player, at 60 years of age, to play in an international club competition when he started in Tuesday’s 6-0 home loss to Olimpia in the CONCACF League.
Donning the No. 61 jersey, as a tribute to the year he was born, Brunswijk captained the team he owns, Inter Moengotapoe, against Honduran outfit Olimpia in the first leg of the round of 16 at the Franklin Essed Stadion in Paramaribo, Suriname. Immediately the image went viral on social media, and the statistician and ESPN contributor Mister Chip highlighted him as the oldest player to play an international club match.
He played for 54 minutes and started in attack alongside his son Damian Brunswijk, who played for 29 minutes before being replaced. Honduran media criticised Inter’s decision to play Ronnie Brunswijk and considered it disrespectful.
However, Olimpia defender Johnny Leveron said: “It was their choice and did they did what they thought was best for their team. We don’t get involved in that.”
Olimpia assistant coach Gustavo Reggi said his team was just focused on winning the game after being asked about Ronnie Brunswijk.
“We found out half an hour earlier when they gave us the squad [that Brunswijk was playing],” he said. “This is a matter for our rivals. We just had to focus on ourselves.
“We represent a club, and we have to do it in the best possible way whether national or internationally. That is what we came here to do. We are happy with the win and now we will wait for the return leg.”
A shirtless Ronnie Brunswijk was captured on video after the game handing out money to Olimpia players and staff in the visitors changing room.
The return leg will be played on Sept. 28 in San Pedro Sula.