Former Colombian star Rincon dies after car crash

Freddy Rincon

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The former Colombian international was pronounced dead by a hospital in his home country following a car crash that saw his vehicle collide with a bus after it had run a red light.

By Our Sports Desk

Former Real Madrid midfielder and Colombia international Freddy Rincon has died in hospital following his car crash on Monday morning.Freddy Rincon starred for Colombia at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

The 55-year-old underwent a three-hour op after suffering severe head injuries and had been “critical” in intensive care following a violent collision with a bus in the Colombian city of Cali. Laureano Quintero, head medic at the private clinic where he had been admitted, announced the retired footballer had died just before midnight last night local time.

The Imbanaco Clinic said in a statement: “Despite all the efforts of our medical team, the patient Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia has died today April 13. We deeply regret this outcome, and at the same time offer our most sincere condolences to relatives, friends, acquaintances and fans.

“There will never be a way to express what this really means to us and we invite the whole country to remember him with joy for everything he gave us in life with his sporting achievements.” Rincon played in three World Cups in the nineties and scored 17 goals in his 84 appearances for the Colombia national team.

As well as Real Madrid and Corinthians, Rincon also played for Napoli in Italy and both Palmeiras and Santos in Brazil. His most important and most memorable goal came against West Germany in Milan on 19 June during the 1990 World Cup.

He fired the ball through the legs of the German keeper late on in the game to secure the draw his team needed to avoid elimination from the tournament at the group stages. Rincon was left fighting for his life after a crash just before 5am between the Ford Escape he was in and a bus whose driver suffered a broken leg in the collision.

He was the most seriously hurt of the four people in the car, which officials said after the accident had gone through a red light. The retired footballer was initially said to have been driving the vehicle, although subsequent reports pointed to him being a passenger.

Brazilian club Corinthians, which Rincon also played for and helped win titles including the first FIFA Club World Cup in 2000, said in a tweet: “It’s with great sadness that we say goodbye to a great idol. Our captain in our first world title, Freddy Rincon, died in the early hours of this Thursday. He will be eternally in our hearts.”

Santos, another of his clubs, said: “Santos FC deeply regrets the death of former footballer Freddy Rincon. The Colombian legend played for us between the years 2000 and 2001. Our condolences to the star’s family and friends, who will never be forgotten by Santos and our supporters. Rest in peace Rincon.”

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