Freddy Rincon played for Real Madrid and Napoli during his accomplished playing career but the former midfielder is now fighting for his life in hospital after being involved in a car crash
The 55-year-old, who played at three World Cups during the 1990s and also turned out for Napoli, is currently in hospital with severe head injuries, having undergone a life-saving operation. Rincon, who spent two years with Real from 1995 to 1997, was at the centre of an incident which occurred in the early hours on Monday morning in Cali, south-west of capital city Bogota.
After being rushed from the scene to the private Imbanaco Clinic, the hospital confirmed in a statement: “With the authorisation of his family, we confirm that Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia was admitted to the clinic today. After an initial valuation, the team of specialists in charge of the patient took the decision to carry out surgery which is ongoing.”
The hospital also admitted that it was unable to predict the former midfielder’s response and head doctor Laureano Quintero added after Rincon’s admission to intensive care: “He has suffered a severe head injury. The situation is critical.” Local outlet El Tiempo report that the car Rincon was driving smashed into a bus and he was one of four people, including the bus driver, who were hurt.
Footage of the collision also emerged online, showing the two vehicles coming to a halt after his car was hit by the bus side-on and veered out of control before stopping by the pavement. Well-wishes from across the globe continue to pour in for Rincon, who retired in 2004 after starring for 10 different clubs in a career that spanned 18 years.
Los Blancos tweeted : “From Real Madrid C.F., all of our strength and affection for Freddy Rincon following the accident he was involved in today. We send our encouragement and we hope that he overcomes this difficult moment as soon as possible.”
Rincon had a highly respectable playing career, notably winning the FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 with Brazilian behemoths Corinthians. Having begun his career at Atletico Buenaventura in 1986, he won the Colombian Championship in 1990 and 1992 with America de Cali.
Parma signed the Colombia international off the back of his performances at the 1994 World Cup, but after being loaned to Napoli due to rules regarding foreign players, Rincon was eventually sold to Real. He also racked up 84 caps for Colombia, scoring 17 goals, the most memorable of which came against eventual champions West Germany at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
With the final whistle just minutes away, Colombia needed a goal to equalise and advance to the knockout stages with a draw. Played through by fellow legend Carlos Valderrama, Rincon calmly slotted home through the goalkeeper’s legs to make it 1-1 at San Siro and send his side through.