Former Colombian footballer Freddy Rincon has died after he suffered severe head injuries in a car crash.
The 55-year-old former captain of his country was driving a car that crashed with a bus early on Monday in Cali, Colombia.
The announcement of his death came from Laureano Quintero, the medical director of the Imbanaco Clinic in Cali: “Despite all the efforts of our teams, Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia has passed away.”
The Colombian football Federation has said: “We will miss him and remember him with great affection, appreciation, respect and admiration.
“We will send strength, support and our condolences to his family, hoping they can bear this sad and painful loss.”
The Brazilian club, Corinthians, with whom Rincon spent the majority of his career has said: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a great idol. Eternally in our hearts.”
Freddy Rincon’s club football career
Rincon was a versatile midfielder, able to play on the left, in the centre or in a more attacking midfield position.
He began his career with Santa Fe in 1986, making 144 league appearances for the side in the three years he was with them.
At Santa Fe he also won the Copa Colombia in 1989 as well as achieving national acclaim for his abilities.
He moved to America De Cali in 1990 with whom he won the Colombian Championship in 1990 and 1992.
In the three years, he amassed 54 goals in 176 appearances.
In 1993, Rincon moved to Europe where he signed with Parma but the three foreigner rule meant he was soon sent on loan to Napoli and eventually sold to Real Madrid.
He moved back to South America in 1996 and spent the rest of his career in the country playing for Corinthians, Santos, Cruzeiro and Corinthians again.
During his time with Corinthians, the club won the Brazilian championship in 1998 and 1999 as well as the first FIFA Club World Cup in 2000, which would be his greatest title.
Freddy Rincon’s international career
Rincon first played for his country in 1990 and would make 84 appearances for his county in 11 years.
The former captain was part of the side that ended the Colombia’s 28-year wait to play at the World Cup when they played in the 1990 finals. It was during this tournament, in the group stages, Rincon would score his most memorable goal - the midfielder calmly fired the ball through the legs of Bodo Illgner, securing his team the draw to keep them in the competition.
Rincon shares the record for the most appearances at the World Cup for his country - both he and Carlos Valderrama have played in 10.
Rincon started coaching after his retirement from the pitch and worked with Iraty, Sao Bento, São José Esporte as well as the Corinthians youth team.
The 55-year-old was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he leaves behind his son, Sebastian Rincon who currently plays for Barracas Central in Argentina.