Just about week ago I heard that the ex-striker from Colombia and Real Madrid had been in a car accident, and was in criticial condition. Just a few days later, having beers with a Venezuelan friend in Miami, he told me that Rincón had passed away at 55.
A tall and quick striker, he had a long illustrious career that brought him, amongst others, to Palmeiras, Napoli and Real Madrid. But as I spoke with my friend I remembered Freddy Rincon for one very special moment: in 1990 I was a young teenager, sitting in an apartment in southern Spain, watching the World Cup match between West Germany and Colombia. It was the last group match, and the Germans were all but qualified while Colombia could not lose. I supported Colombia wholeheartedly as they attacked and attacked, but could not score. Instead, Germany went ahead, completely undeserved (but specially back then it was considered so “German”). In the last minute Freddy Rincón received the ball from “El Pibe” Valderrama and scored the equalizer that put Colombia through.
When that ball went in I jumped and screamed so much that neighbours and family worried that something had happened, but it was just one of those moments of absolute football joy that I remember having, and a treasured memory.Thank you Freddy Rincón. RIP.
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