(CNN Spanish) — Freddy Rincón is a legend. The former Colombian soccer player scored one of the most important goals of the Colombian team and his death, announced early this Thursday, left a wave of mourning in the country that remembers him celebrating his goals and his triumphs.
Rincón, 55, died in Cali, Colombia, after three days in hospital. The former soccer player suffered a spectacular traffic accident in the early hours of this Monday, which left him in a serious state of health and later caused his death.
This was Freddy Rincón’s accident
In the early hours of April 11, around 4:30 in the morning, the vehicle in which Rincón was traveling collided with a bus from the Western Integrated Mass Transportation System (MIO). In a video from a security camera from a nearby building, it is seen how at the intersection of Calle Quinta with Carrera 34 in Cali, cars collide, dragging the private vehicle in which the former soccer player was traveling along with three other people a block later. Rincon was not driving the vehicle, according to authorities.
The mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, informed local media on Monday that the vehicle in which Rincón was traveling as a passenger did not respect the red light of a traffic light and collided with a MIO feeder bus.
A recklessness of the driver could have been the cause of the accident.
“From one of the security cameras of one of the neighboring buildings, the impact can be seen, the possible recklessness of the driver can be seen, the collision is very strong,” Ospina said. “The truck, all the evidence shows us that it ran a red light… they were also coming fast and that’s why this collision of this magnitude,” she added.
After the accident, the vehicle in which Rincón was traveling was severely hit in the right front part, taking away a traffic sign. Meters behind was the public service bus with which he collided, according to a video that was known of the accident.
The bus driver and two companions of the former player underwent a breathalyzer test and showed no evidence of alcohol. Freddy Rincón, due to his state of health, has not undergone a test, according to the mayor. At the moment it is unknown if a fourth person was in the car where the former soccer player was traveling.
According to Ospina, the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office is carrying out investigations into the accident.
Freddy Rincón was left in a “deeply critical” condition
After the accident, Rincón was transferred to the Imbanaco Clinic in Cali, which since Monday constantly reported on his state of health. He was operated on Monday for a “severe head injury”, according to a statement from the clinicand then transferred to the intensive care unit where he remained for the last three days.
The Clinic reported on Tuesday that it was monitoring Rincón’s health status and that it did some “additional studies on his brain” to determine what steps to take.
“Freddy Eusebio’s (health) condition remains deeply critical,” Hours before the death of the former soccer player, Dr. Laureano Quintero Barrera had saidmedical director of the Imbanaco Clinic. According to Quintero Barrera and the health reports issued by the Clinic in recent days, Rincón’s evolution was not favorable.
In the early hours of this Thursday, April 14, 2022, the Clinic reported the death of Freddy Rincón.
Rincón, the author of one of the most important goals in Colombia
Freddy Eusebio Rincón played three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and scored 17 goals in 84 games for Colombia. He was born in 1966 in Buenaventura, in western Colombia, and was one of the most outstanding players of his country’s golden generation in the 1990s. In addition to the goal against Germany, he scored two goals in the remembered 5-0 against Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1993.
On June 19, 1990, at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Freddy Rincón scored the most important goal of the Colombian National Team until then and the most remembered in that country (perhaps until James Rodríguez’s great goal against Uruguay in 2014). Rincón’s celebratory cry after the goal, a smile with shining white teeth and two clenched fists, reflects the significance of the dying goal: at the last moment of a difficult match against the team that would be world champion days later for Colombia to pass, for the first time in its history, to the round of 16 of a World Cup after a 28-year absence from the most important tournament in football.
He retired as a player in 2004 and later coached third division teams in Brazil. He was assistant director to Vanderlei Luxemburg at Atlético Mineiro in 2010, and to Jorge Luis Pinto at Millonarios de Colombia in 2019.
— With information from Fernando Ramos of CNN en Español in Colombia and Abel Alvarado of CNN en Español in Atlanta.