Freddy Rincón, former Real Madrid and Corinthians player, died earlier this month after suffering head injuries in a car accident. The former Colombia captain’s car collided with a bus in the city of Cali, Colombia, causing severe injuries in the former player’s head, leading him to unfortunately pass away three days after the accident. Throughout his career, Rincón inspired thousands of football fans around the globe, while also collecting silverware along the way.
He started his professional football career in 1986, playing for the Colombian team Santa Fe. There, he instantly became a player to watch out for, contributing to Santa Fe’s Copa Colombia title in 1989. Rincón was then signed by another Colombian team, América de Cali. In América de Cali, Rincón played under two different managers in three years, but this did not stop him from winning more titles, as América won the Colombian Championship in 1990 and 1992.
Rincón moved to Palmeiras in 1993, where despite only playing 28 games, he flourished, scoring in 12 of those matches. His contributions not only helped Palmeiras clinch the Brazilian league in 1995, but also caught the attention of European giants Napoli and later Real Madrid.
The Italian team Napoli decided to sign Rincón on loan in 1995. Although he was trophyless during his time in Naples, his amazing appearances surely put him under the spotlight. During his one season in Italy, Rincón scored seven times in thirty-eight games across all competitions.
Despite this short spell in Italy, Rincón’s game performances were convincing enough for Real Madrid to sign him for the 1995-1996 season. This was a historic transfer, as Rincón became the first Colombian to ever sign for Real Madrid. Unfortunately, his signing did not work out as well as most football fans initially imagined, as Rincón was not able to excel on Spanish ground. With Los Blancos, Rincón was unable to score, only managing an assist in 21 games.
Perhaps his lack of success in Spain motivated him to show the football world what he was capable of once again, since the following years of his career were marked by incredible performances, plenty of goals, and various trophies. From 1997 to 2000, Rincón played for one of the biggest Brazilian teams, Corinthians.
Rincón played the best football of his career at Corinthians, becoming a club legend and leading his team-mates to four titles. He won the state championship once, the Brazilian league twice, in 1998 and 1999, and the Fifa Club World Cup in 2000. During his time at the club, he scored thirty-seven goals and 151 games.
Despite all of these titles, Rincón has won several individual awards throughout his career and after he retired. In 1993, he was nominated the third best player in South America and was a part of South America’s ideal team. He was also recognized as one of América de Cali’s best players ever and was included into Corinthians’ hall of fame in 2011. His main individual accolade however, is winning the “Bola de Prata” award in 1999.
Apart from his incredible club career, Rincón had an unbelievable international career as well. He represented his country in 84 games and scored seventeen goals. He played for Colombia in multiple international competitions, such as the Copa América and the World Cup.
“Former Colombia Great Freddy Rincón Dies, Aged 55, Following Car Crash.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Apr. 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/apr/14/former-colombia-great-freddy-rincon-dies-aged-55-following-car-crash.
“Former Real Madrid and Colombia Star Rincon Dies at 55 Following Car Crash.” Former Real Madrid & Colombia Star Rincon Dies at 55 Following Car Crash | Goal.com, https://www.goal.com/en/news/former-real-madrid-colombia-star-rincon-dies-55-car-crash/blt137df29584e3ddb3.
“Freddy Rincón - National Team.” Transfermarkt, https://www.transfermarkt.com/freddy-rincon/nationalmannschaft/spieler/102163.
“The Incredible Career of Freddy Rincon.” FIFA Publishes First-Ever Guide to Club Licensing in Women's Football, https://www.fifa.com/en/?linkId=100000109808330&shortlink=ebe26eb0&brand_domain=goto.fifa.com&c=%28p_FIFAPlus%29%28i_Launch-Brand%29%28l_en%29&pid=%28n_pt%29%28f_CTA%29.
Loyola, Kelvin. “Freddy Rincón Dies at 55: A Look Back on the Colombian's Career.” Bolavip US, Bolavip, 14 Apr. 2022, https://bolavip.com/en/soccer/freddy-rincon-dies-at-55-a-look-back-on-the-colombians-career-20220414-0006.html.
Semana. “Freddy Rincón: Todas Las Veces Que Gritó ‘Campeón.’” Semana.com Últimas Noticias De Colombia y El Mundo, 12 Apr. 2022, https://www.semana.com/deportes/articulo/freddy-rincon-todas-las-veces-que-grito-campeon/202256/.