Juan de Dios Ruíz Ruíz already had a knack for wrapping women around his finger with his eloquence. Then as now, the 101-year-old likes to ensnare ladies and turn their heads with self-penned shaking rhymes. He is aware of how popular he is in his home village. He is particularly grateful and happy that his wife has never been jealous. He gave birth to eight children with her. He had five more children with other women. Two of his children, María del Carmen and Edwin David, even live in his immediate neighbourhood today. Career-wise, Juan de Dios Ruíz Ruíz looks back on a hard working life: he cultivated maize, harvested wood with an axe, cut sugar cane with a machete, worked as a cattle herder and even as a bridge builder: Jobs that were hard on the bones but paid poorly. He found compensation for the hard work in football. To this day, one of the most beautiful moments for him is to experience the applause of the audience when he scores a goal. The former farm worker sees the reason for his old age above all in the fact that he rarely drinks alcohol, but has ridden a lot. That is why his advice for young people is not to drink too much alcohol and to enjoy life with good, honest friends and many loves.

photos: René Schwerdtel for Wissner-Bosserhoff