When Marjolein Lankhout of SOS Children’s Villages, an association that helps vulnerable children, is looking for a new ambassador, she finds herself in the world of football. And in every conversation she has about potential candidates, one name invariably comes up.
Despite his busy life, Van Nistelrooij enjoys being an ambassador. When Lankhout stops by the charity years later, she calls the footballer to thank him. The conversation takes a different turn. “I want to stop”, it sounds with the Brabant accent on the other end of the line.
Lanchut is surprised. Even if there are ambassadors who want to quit, there are very few who dare to report it. Van Nistelrooij explains that he is too busy and is abroad too often.
Looking back, Lankhout thinks it was a powerful decision. “It’s indicative of his determination.” If Van Nistelrooij does something, he wants to do it well. He is disappointed that he can no longer give SOS Children’s Villages the attention it deserves.
Again this American athlete
The two continue to talk. The Dutch national team forward reflects on this American athlete. He then resumes his diary. His more than pleasant life is largely due to his talent as a footballer. And because someone saw this talent in him.
It touches him again and Van Nistelrooij feels the intrinsic motivation to give something back. “Hi Marjolein, this is Ruud. Would you like to consider my foundation?”
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”