Former Colombia Captain Freddy Rincon Dies Following Car Crash

Written by Bob Rogers
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Former Colombia Captain Freddy Rincon Dies Following Car Crash Marked with CC BY-SA 2.0

Colombian football fans are in mourning after learning of the death of their national team's former captain. Freddy Rincon died two days after suffering serious head injuries in a car accident in Cali, Colombia. He was 55-years-old.

Rincon sustained severe head injuries after the vehicle he was driving collided with a bus. Doctors and surgeons at the Imbanaco Clinic in Cali worked around the clock to save the former Colombia national team captain, but their efforts were ultimately in vain. Laureano Quintero, the hospital's medical director that was treating Rincon, broke the news on April 14. "Despite all the efforts of our teams, Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia has passed away."

A Glistening Career

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The talented midfielder played 608 games for nine different South American and European clubs and scored 152 goals. However, it is Rincon's time with the Colombian national team that most football fans remember him for. Rincon was part of Colombia's so-called "Golden Generation" that reached the 1990, 1994, and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Rincon scored an iconic goal in a 1-1 draw with West Germany to earn Colombia's place in the Round of 16. Colombia went into the 1994 World Cup in the United States with relatively short odds with the best online betting sites after qualifying without losing a single game; they defeated much-fancied Argentina 5-0 in their qualification group. However, the Los Cafeteros failed to live up to the pre-tournament hype and fell at the group stage.

Rincon started his long and illustrious career with Independiente Sante Fe in his native Colombia in 1986, and he played 144 games and scored 31 goals during a three-year spell. He then played for America de Cali from 1990-1993, where his 54 goals in 176 matches helped his side win two Colombian Championships.

The combative midfielder's performances for club and country saw Rincon spend some time in Europe. Rincon showcased his skills with Napoli in Italy's Serie A and turned out 21 times for Spanish giants Real Madrid before spending the last seven years of his club career playing in Brazil, mainly for Corinthians. Rincon hung up his boots in 2004. The 84 caps he won for the Colombian national side make Rincon the ninth-most capped player of all time.

Tributes Pour In

FIFA led the way with tributes to the late Rincon, sending a tweet to its 15 million followers.

"We join together with many in the world of football to remember Freddy Rincon. Our sincere condolences go to his loved ones, former teammates, and fans from clubs he played for and of the Colombian national team who he represented at three World Cups. Rest in Peace."

Colombia's football federation, the FCF, echoed FIFA's sentiments. They called Rincon's death a "great loss" and said, "we will miss him and remember him with great affection, appreciation, respect, and admiration."

"The Colombian Football Federation deeply regrets the death of Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia and sends a message of support and encouragement to his family, friends, and relatives at this difficult time."

Second "Golden Generation" Colombia To Die

Rincon is the second member of Colombia's Golden Generation to die. While Rincon's death is attributed to a tragic accident, Andres Escobar's passing is much more sinister.

Escobar, a much-loved defender, was part of Colombia's 1994 World Cup squad. The Colombians needed to win their group stage game against the USA to progress to the knockout stages. However, the USA won the game 2-1, partly because Escobar scored an own goal in the 34th minute.

Upon returning to Colombia five days after Colombia's untimely exit from the World Cup, Escobar was shot six times with a .38 calibre pistol. He died in hospital 45-minutes later. Police attributed Escobar's death to a drug cartel that had staked large sums of money on Colombia beating the USA. One of the cartel's bodyguards, Humberto Castro Munoz, was arrested and later sentenced to 43 years in prison. This was later reduced to 26 years, although Munoz was released for good behaviour in 2005, having served 11 years of his sentence.

 

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Read 238 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 April 2022 13:45
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Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers

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