Former Real Madrid midfielder and Colombia international Freddy Rincon has died in hospital after his car crash on Monday morning.
The 55-year-old underwent three-hour surgery after suffering serious head injuries and was in critical care after a violent collision with a bus in the Colombian city of Cali.
Laureano Quintero, chief medical officer at the private clinic he was admitted to, announced the retired footballer died just before midnight last night local time.
The Imbanaco Clinic said in a statement: “Despite the best efforts of our medical team, the patient Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia passed away today, March 13.
“We deeply regret this result and at the same time express our sincere condolences to the 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 all that he gave us in life through his sporting achievements.”
Rincon played in three World Cups in the 1990s and scored 17 goals in his 84 appearances for the Colombia national team.
In addition to Real Madrid and Corinthians, Rincon also played for Napoli in Italy and Palmeiras and Santos in Brazil.
His most important and memorable goal is the goal he scored against West Germany on June 19 during the 1990 World Cup in Milan.
He flicked the ball through the German goalkeeper’s legs late in the game to secure the tie his team needed to avoid elimination from the tournament in the group stage.
Rincon was fighting for his life after an accident just before 5 a.m. between the Ford Escape he was on and a bus whose driver suffered a broken leg in the collision.
He was the most seriously injured of the four people in the car officials said after the accident ran a red light.
The retired footballer is said to have initially driven the vehicle, but later reports suggested he was a passenger.
Colombian football has started to pay tribute to its outstanding former midfielder.
Their federation wrote: “The Football Federation of Colombia deeply regrets the death of Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia and sends his family, friends and relatives a message of support and encouragement at this difficult time.”
Rincon’s son Sebastian posted a moving picture of his father’s hand in his from the hospital last night.
He wrote: “Here we are, dude ❤️💪🏿🙏🏿”
Brazilian club Corinthians, for whom Rincon also played and with whom he won titles including the inaugural FIFA Club World Cup in 2000, said in a tweet: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a great idol.
“Our captain in our first world title, Freddy Rincon, passed away in the early hours of this Thursday.
“He will be in our hearts forever.”
Santos, another of his clubs, said: “Santos FC deeply regrets the death of former footballer Freddy Rincon.
“The Colombian legend played for us between 2000 and 2001.
“Our condolences go out to the star’s family and friends who will never forget Santos and our supporters.
“Rest In Peace Rincon.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5121616/freddy-rincon-dead-real-madrid/ Ex-Real Madrid star dies in hospital after serious head injuries in horror crash