Victim of a violent accident, the Colombian colossus Freddy Rincón died this Wednesday at the age of 55. eminent representative of football toqueHe was a player ahead of his time.
A new wind was blowing in football. that came from afar. With its share of mystery. In 1990, a new truth seemed to emerge in the north of South America: in the middle of a hermetic and double-locked World Cup, Colombia offered its football toquewho stroked the ball in a cadence halftime broken by violent cavalcades. In the goal, a flying goalkeeper, René Higuita. To the wand, the exuberant hair of Carlos Valderrama. And then, Freddy Rincón, launched precisely by The kid, in injury time. A race where his speed and power left the rear guard of the future German world champions on the field for a draw (1-1) that would blow up Bogotá, Cali, Medellín or Barranquilla. It was more than a goal, it was an affirmation that Colombia could look the powerful RFA, the best in the world, in the eye, even if they did not go beyond a knockout round loss to Cameroon.
Three years later, another race. In the Monumental Stadium of Buenos Aires, the Colossus of Buenaventura (1.87 m, 82 kilos) flies behind the Argentines. It’s the first firework rocket you’ll ever see british curry the albiceleste (5-0). The whole world then begins to fall in love with Asprilla, Valderrama and Rincón. They even made him one of the favorites for the 1994 World Cup. When Argentine Jorge Valdano, then manager of Real Madrid, signed Rincón in 1995, he was full of praise for an attacking midfielder who ” active ” . Power, technical agility and speed. So he is perceived as a footballer of a new kind, who could embody the future of the sport for him. “Even today, I could play (on larger teams)because he was ahead sportingly, and talent has no expiration date. the 1986 world champion said again this week, when the newspaper WHAT He called him after Freddy Rincón’s fatal accident. Reader of Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende, the medium coffee grower loved being led by him “football philosopher” . But his signing for Real Madrid will be disastrous. Valdano is fired, the team does not rotate and a group of supporters You meringues he doesn’t appreciate seeing a black player wearing his white jersey. According to Rincón, even the president, Lorenzo Sanz, who arrived during the season, did not hide his xenophobia. “When I arrive, he will be the first to go,” he had promised. assured the first Colombian who has played for Real Madrid.
Europe will not understand
One could speak of a broken promise, like the 1994 World Cup, marked by the elimination in the first round of the Tricolor and the disastrous epilogue of the shooting death of Andrés Escobar. But for Rincón, as for the rest of the key players in the fast-paced selection of the first half of the 90s, the European context was adverse. It was before Bosman stopped, when only three foreigners could populate a squad. On the ground, the cultural differences were marked, as on the outside. At Napoli, where he made his European debut a year before signing for Madrid, Rincón also had a hard time adapting. This heel expert was considered an attacker -which he was not- and his seven goals were not enough to convince the tifosi. In Madrid, the record forthe colossus it will simply be blank: not the slightest goal. He was that pioneer that he suffered to pave the way. He is not an isolated element.
between the cracks coffee growers of the Maturana generation, only the European sojourn of the still capricious Faustino Asprilla can be considered a relative success. But the former Parma and Newcastle player had landed at the age of 22. When he joins the White House, Rincón has just celebrated his 29th birthday. He already has a long South American career behind him, which he will experience in a second part. He will be in Brazil, where he had already left his mark, in 1994, with Roberto Carlos, Edmundo and César Sampaio’s Palmeiras. He too returned to the club then owned by Parmalat, but it was with neighbors Corinthians that he would become a legend. With the most followed club in Brazil, he notably won two championships (1998 and 1999), and above all, the 2000 Club World Cup. He once again scored a goal that counted: the 2-0 against Al-Nasr, which eliminated the… Real Madrid of Raúl and Anelka, while the final is played between the first of two hens out of four. In a competition organized in Rio de Janeiro, Rincón and others defeated Vasco de Gama de Romário, who was playing at home. Meanwhile, the midfielder also played a third World Cup in a row, in 1998, but this historic Colombia – only one participation before 1990 – has lost its recklessness.
it was cali
the colossus He explained that he began to develop his imposing physique when he walked back materials he collected with his brothers in the port of Buenaventura to help build the family home. The youngest of eight brothers focused on soccer, he had also hardened from very early on in contact with his elders. In very good physical condition despite the passing of the years, Rincón had considered putting on crampons in 2012, at the age of 46, to help América Cali, with whom he had lived his best hours in his country (champion 1990 and 1992 ), to find the first division. In the end he will only play a friendly. In 2019, he is also the short-lived assistant with Millonarios for José Luis Pinto, the coach who launched him in Santa Fe in 1986.
— FCF (@FCF_Oficial) April 14, 2022
Once the cleats were officially hung in 2004, Rincón made headlines mainly because legal issues. As if the sulfur of the “narcos” years of Colombian soccer could not do without him, he was arrested in São Paulo in 2007, accused of money laundering and criminal associations, by Panama. Released after four months, he went through the interrogation box again in 2015, suspected in particular of having served as a figurehead for a drug trafficker, a former member of the Cali cartel, and originally, like him, from Buenaventura. However, he will be acquitted in 2016. Ray news, he also survived an accident in 2013. Result: some fractures. Speed is his enemy this time. His physical power, on the other hand, kept the hope of a recovery despite the terrible fright he suffered night from Sunday to Monday. Hit by a bus, after going through a red light, according to the first elements of the investigation, he had been in critical condition ever since and passed away on wednesday. To pay tribute to the colossus, Colombian football giant, the mayor of Cali has decreed three days of mourning. The world of football is also in mourning for this former player of a new generation.
By Thomas Goubin