Former Colombia midfielder Freddy Rincon was seriously injured in a car crash in Cali on Monday.
A local clinic said in a statement that the 55-year-old Rincón underwent head surgery then was put into intensive care, without elaborating.
“His condition, taking into consideration the very serious findings in the surgery, is very serious,” Laureano Quintero, a director of Imbanaco clinic, said.
Rincon’s car crashed into a bus around 4:30 a.m. in Cali, in Colombia’s southwest. He was one of five people injured, according to local authorities, who were reviewing traffic cameras.
Hamilton Ricard, also a former footballer and a close friend of Rincon’s, visited his family at the hospital and didn’t sound optimistic when he spoke to journalists outside.
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“If he is saved, he will have a lot of side-effects,” Ricard said. “We are praying for God to put his hands on Freddy, the doctors have said the truth.”
Rincon played for Colombia in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups. He is one of the team’s iconic players during that decade, alongside Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla.
Rincon retired from the national team in 2001.
His club career began in 1985 and took off at America de Cali. After a brief and successful spell at Brazil’s Palmeiras, he joined Napoli in 1994. He played the following season for Real Madrid and returned to Palmeiras in 1997.
Rincon also played for Brazil’s Corinthians from 1997-2000, and as the team captain was the first to lift the new FIFA Club World Cup.