All in the Game: Ronnie Brunswijk the movie?

Give the ball to Messi, Ajer feeling the love and Leeds still aggrieved about sending off

There’s a movie in this fella’s life

Player of the Week: Take a bow, Ronnie Brunswijk. Last week, at the age of 60, he became the oldest man to play in an international club competition when he lasted 54 minutes of Suriname side Inter Moengotapoe's CONCACAF League game against Olimpia of Honduras.

Granted, Ronnie owns the club, so when he named himself in the starting line-up and awarded himself the captaincy, it’s unlikely any one complained.

Ronnie couldn’t help prevent Inter from losing 6-0 and after the game footage did the rounds showing him handing out cash to Olimpia players in their dressing room. This has not gone down hugely well with CONCACAF who have opened an investigation in to the matter.

It wouldn’t be the first time Ronnie found himself in hot water, The Washington Post telling us last week that the former “elite paratrooper” is “a wanted bank robber, a guerrilla leader, a gold baron and a father to at least 50 children during his lifetime”.


CONCACAF needn’t worry, though, about Ronnie picking himself for the return leg in Honduras because he’s somewhat restricted from travelling outside Suriname. Why? Because he’s a convicted drug trafficker in the Netherlands and France. There’s a movie in this fella’s life.

By the numbers

35 per cent - Percentage of English Premier League players who have chosen to be vaccinated, according to reports last week. As uptakes go, that's teency.

Word of mouth

"I do not want to comment on the Koeman situation out of respect to him . . . but the day Barca calls me I will go there on my knees." – Granada coach Robert Moreno offering his support to embattled Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, and then withdrawing it.

"Bruno is such a good penalty taker and today you would have backed him with your mortgage." – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on that Fernandes penalty miss against Aston Villa, the ball probably still in the air, and those who backed him now finding themselves homeless. "Building a technical relationship with him is easy – I give him the ball, I run and he will put it where it belongs." – Lionel Messi's new PSG team-mate Achraf Hakimi is well impressed.

"He's the most mature, most serious 18-year-old I've ever seen. He is already one of our leaders. I've already told him 25 times this year that I just love him." – Mats Hummels would appeared to be quite fond of his Borussia Dortmund team-mate Jude Bellingham.

Leeds ‘addlepated’ over red card

Leeds United are evidently still aggrieved about the sending off of Pascal Struijk for the challenge that resulted in Liverpool's Harvey Elliott dislocating his ankle when the teams met a fortnight ago. Leeds' appeal against the red card failed, despite even Elliott offering his support.

Angus Kinnear, Leeds' managing director, used his programme notes for Saturday's game against West Ham to emote about the affair, his chief annoyance being that the referee initially saw no problem with Struijk's challenge, only using VAR for a second look after being approached by Jurgen Klopp.

“Following the panel’s decision (to turn down the appeal),” wrote Kinnear, “we were left with no other recourse than to humbly request to the Premier League that opposing head coaches are not selected to officiate any more of our games for the remainder of the season”. The mother of all miaows, that.

Most striking, though, was Kinnear’s description of Craig Pawson’s refereeing: “Addlepated.” This, surely, is the first time in history that ‘addlepated’ appeared in programme notes?

Ajer feels Brentford’s love

Kristoffer Ajer is having a very decent start to his Brentford career since moving to the club from Celtic during the summer, their draw against Liverpool on Saturday lifting the newly promoted club in to the top 10 of the Premier League.

“What I liked about the club compared to the others was that they said there were a lot of exciting things about me,” he said of Brentford’s scouting of him before deciding to sign him up. How many times did they watch him? “They said they had seen me in 123 matches with Celtic,” he said.

If Ajer’s defending was as indecisive as Brentford’s scouts, he’d be in bother.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times