As Boniek García made his way through Toncontín International Airport in the summer of 2012 for an important CONCACAF Champions League group stage game he found much more than well wishes, handshakes and other welcoming gestures from those who greeted him.
Many supporters, members of the Honduran military and other staff working at the airport were greeting him as “Presidente.”
“To this day I still call him Presidente,” Dynamo forward Will Bruin said. “With today being Presidents Day, it is Boniek’s day. It’s funny, when we got to Honduras to play Olimpia he got off the plane waving to everybody. Everyone was calling him [Presidente], from the Honduran military to the people working at the airport. Bony just had this big smile and the name has stuck with him ever since.”
According to García, the team hotel was near the president’s residence and many of the people who greeted him assumed he would spend the trip there as a guest. For players like Tyler Deric and Bruin who made the trip, the nickname was more than a coincidence.
“He’s a great person, really a genuine nice guy who always has a smile on his face,” Bruin said. “He has a very welcoming personality that nobody really feels like they can’t talk to him because he’s just such a nice guy.”
García added that his wife found the story hilarious and that he appreciates the correlation his teammates have made with that nickname and his traits as a player and as a person.
“It may be a little tongue-in-cheek, but overall I approach my job with a lot of intensity and naturally, my charisma comes out on the training ground and outside the field,” García said. “Some look at those traits and associate them with my nickname and that’s okay. I am here to have fun and help the team accomplish its goals.”