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Reinier Johannes Maria "Nico" Rijnders (30 July 1947 – 16 March 1976) was a Dutch footballer who played for NAC Breda and Ajax Amsterdam and was part of their European Cup victory in 1971. He earned 8 caps for the Netherlands national football team.[1] He collapsed on 12 November 1972 while playing for Club Brugge against RFC Liège and was clinically dead when he was transported off the pitch, he was successfully reanimated by the club doctor but the incident ended Rijnders' playing career. His health condition was never fully recovered and he died three years later, aged 28.[2]

Reinier Rijnders
Nico Rijnders 1969.jpg
Rijnders in 1969
Personal information
Full name Nico Rijnders
Date of birth (1947-07-30)30 July 1947
Place of birth Breda, the Netherlands
Date of death 16 March 1976(1976-03-16) (aged 28)
Place of death Brugge, Belgium
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1968 NAC Breda 64 (4)
1968–1969 Go Ahead Eagles 32 (1)
1969–1971 Ajax Amsterdam 61 (3)
1971–1972 Club Brugge 40 (5)
National team
1969–1970 Netherlands 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 July 2011


  1. ^ Nico Rijnders – 30 juli 1947.
  2. ^ "Player profile: RIJNDERS Reinier "Nico"" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.