Adipi beams with pride as Suriname's Robinhood back in Concacaf Champions Cup after 30-year absence

By Sports Desk January 18, 2024
Renske Adipi Renske Adipi Concacaf

It is a proud moment in time for one of the most accomplished Caribbean teams in Concacaf history, as five-time Concacaf Champions Cup finalists Robinhood of Suriname are back in the prestigious tournament for the first time since 1994.

Though it has been 30 years since Robinhood last graced the tournament, this will be the club's 18th appearance overall, with a new generation of players, led by midfielder Renske Adipi, aiming to carve out a legacy of their own on this occasion.

Adipi, steered Robinhood to the mountaintop in both the 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield and Concacaf Caribbean Cup. He was named Best Player in the Caribbean Cup.

The 24-year-old scored a goal, contributed an assist, made eight steals, three clearances and completed more than 83 percent of his passes in the tournament.

Adipi and his Robinhood teammates recently returned to training following a well-deserved break and are busy preparing for the Champions Cup which gets under way with Round One action next month.

“This is a team with a lot of young players, but we trained hard, the coach worked very hard with us so we could reach a level at which we could compete in the Shield and the Caribbean Cup,” Adipi said in an interview with Concacaf.com.

“For Robinhood as a team, it means that we are back at the level we had in previous years in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. We are very proud to be back at the international Concacaf level and proud to be back in Champions Cup,” he added.

As Caribbean Cup champions, Robinhood will start the tournament in the Round of 16 where they will face the winner of the Round One contest between Costa Rica's Herediano and two-time Concacaf champions Toluca of Mexico.

While Robinhood's players are just now returning to the training field, the coaching staff has already been studying the club’s potential opponent.

“Our coaching staff is already busy analyzing Toluca and Herediano, so we will be prepared for whichever team we play,” Adipi shared.

On that note, Adipi reflected on last year's campaign which will forever live in the minds of Robinhood's players, coaches and supporters alike, even more so as their impressive double Caribbean triumph has etched the club's name in the annals of Suriname's sporting history.

Adipi recalled how the team registered big wins in the Shield, and later took that momentum all the way to the Caribbean Cup title.

“At the start of the Shield, we were a little nervous, but when the tournament started after the first game, we grew into ourselves and grew in the tournament, and we became champions. When we entered the Caribbean Cup, we were surer of ourselves. We played a good tournament and also became champions of that event. For the fans they enjoyed it very much and they have not stopped celebrating it. They were great fans in the games, even though it was late at night," he said with a smile.

Robinhood’s Caribbean conquest and Champions Cup qualification was timely, too. On the horizon is the beginning of a new professional league in Suriname, so no doubt Robinhood’s appearance in this year’s Champions Cup will bring plenty of eyes to the country's football and, by extension, its development.

“We know that not only are we playing for Robinhood, but we are also playing for the country of Suriname. It is a very important moment so that Robinhood can have prestige in this tournament, because we are going to start a professional league in Suriname. This is a welcomed moment that everyone can now see the level that Surinamese football has,” Adipi ended.

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