Freddy Rincón: former Colombian captain dies after car accident

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Rincón, 55, was admitted to hospital on Monday following a car accident in the early hours of the day, CNN en Español reported, citing local media.

Five people were injured in the crash, which involved a van with four occupants, including the former player, and a bus, Cali’s Undersecretary for Mobility Edwing Candelo told El País Cali newspaper.

Cali’d The Imbanaco Clinic said “Despite the best efforts of our medical and assistance team, patient Freddy Eusebio Rincón Valencia, passed away today April 13, 2022.”

“There will never be a way to express what this truly means to us, we invite the whole country to remember him with happiness for all that he brought to life with his sporting successes,” said added the hospital.

A ‘painful loss’

Rincón played in three World Cups – 1990, 1994 and 1998 – and scored 17 goals in 84 games for Colombia.

The Colombian Football Federation paid tribute, saying in a statement: “It is a huge loss for his family and friends, and at the same time it is an unfortunate loss for our sport, where we will miss him and remember him. of him with great care, appreciation, respect and admiration.”

“We send strength, support and our condolences to his family, hoping that they can bear this sad and painful loss,” the statement added.

Real Madrid, for whom Rincón played between 1995 and 1996, also paid tribute to him, expressing “its condolences, care and affection to all his family, teammates and managers, his clubs and all those close to him”.

Born in 1966 in Buenaventura, western Colombia, he was one of the key players in his country’s golden generation in the 1990s.

He notably scored against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, his goal coming late in the game to secure a 1-1 draw giving Colombia a place in the round of 16. final after 28 years of absence from the country. of the tournament.

Rincón also scored twice in a famous 5-0 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1993.

In Colombia, he played for Santa Fe and América de Cali, with whom he won three trophies.

In 1994, Rincón joined Brazilian club Palmeiras, later moving to Europe. He played for Italian club Napoli and then moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid, becoming the first Colombian footballer to play for the La Liga club.

Rincón returned to Brazil in 1996, where he won three local titles and a Club World Cup with Corinthians.

He retired as a player in 2004 and later coached third division teams in Brazil. He was an assistant to former Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo at Atlético Mineiro in 2010 and to Jorge Luis Pinto at Millonarios de Colombia in 2019.

Matias Grez contributed reporting.

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