Freddy Rincón, the author of one of the most important goals in Colombia

(CNN Spanish) — 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.

The 1-1 against Federal Germany is a match that remained engraved in the memory of Colombians because of that anthology play —in which Leonel Álvarez, “el Bendito” Fajardo and “el Pibe” Valderrama participated— with six passes and 17 touches all over the field, culminating in a tunnel goal by Freddy Rincón. It was played at 47:12 of the second half and Colombia tied the game. But it was considered an unprecedented victory, by the rival and by the classification.

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Freddy Rincon in 1993 (Credit: Shaun Botterill/ALLSPORT)

Freddy Eusebio Rincon 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.

In Colombia he played in Santa Fe and América de Cali, with whom he won three trophies. Then he made the star jump to Palmeiras in 1994, in Brazil, to be signed shortly after at Napoli and then at Real Madrid: he was the first Colombian footballer to play for the merengue team, although he did not have a good time at the Spanish club . He returned to Brazil in 1996 and there he won three local titles and a Club World Cup with Corinthians.

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.

The legal problems of Freddy Rincón

He has been no stranger to controversy. In 2007 he was arrested in Sao Paulo in 2007 at the request of the Panamanian justice for alleged links with a drug trafficker, Efe reported at the time. He got out of jail 4 months later. Rincón said at the time that he knew the person identified as a drug trafficker, but that he was unaware of his criminal activities. In 2015, Panama issued an Interpol red notice for alleged money laundering and criminal conspiracy, according to Cablenoticias, a CNN affiliate network. Rincón again denied the accusations. In 2016 he was exonerated from the process, reported Efe.

In 2013 he suffered a traffic accident on a highway in Valle del Cauca, near Cali. At that time he had a head injury, just like now, after the accident on Monday that has him in critical condition.

Today he is fighting for his life and soccer fans in Colombia expect good news of his recovery, although the medical part is delicate.

For now, Colombia and the world remember his accurate annotations and his joyful celebrations.

The video that shows the accident of Freddy Rincón 0:59

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