World News

Colombia legend Freddy Rincon dies aged 55 following car crash

Jamie Spencer
Freddy Rincon played for Colombia at three World Cups in the 1990s
Freddy Rincon played for Colombia at three World Cups in the 1990s / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Colombia legend Freddy Rincon has died as a result of the severe head injuries he suffered in a car crash in the city of Cali earlier this week.

The 55-year-old was driving a car when it collided with a bus. All passengers in the car were injured, as was the driver of the bus. Rincon himself was immediately in critical condition.

Rincon, who made his name at club level with Bogota-based Santa Fe and later America de Cali in the late 1980s and early 1990s, played 84 times for Colombia during an 11-year international career between 1990 and 2001. He also scored 17 goals for his country.

The midfielder starred for Los Cafeteros at World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 1998, playing alongside the likes of cult heroes Carlos Valderrama, Rene Higuita, Faustino Asprilla and Leonel Alvarez, as well as Andres Escobar, who was tragically murdered shortly after elimination in 1994.

Having played in all three group games in each tournament, as well as knockout fixture in 1990, Rincon jointly holds Colombia’s record for most World Cup appearances (10) with Valderrama.

His club career took him to Europe for the first time in 1993, initially joining Parma and later turning out for Napoli and Real Madrid. He returned to South America in 1997 and spent the remainder of his career at several of Brazil’s biggest clubs until permanently hanging up his boots in 2004.

Rincon embarked on a coaching career at lower league level in Brazil, but also held a youth coach role at Corinthians in 2009 and was most recently an assistant at Atletico Mineiro in 2010.

His son, Sebastian Rincon, plays professionally in Argentina’s second division.