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Freddy Rincón: Scoring a Goal for Life

Freddy Eusebio Gustavo Rincón Valencia, nicknamed “The Colossus of Buenaventura”, is a retired Colombian football (fútbol) offensive midfielder who played 84 games for the Colombia National Team between 1990 and 2001. He is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was born on 14 August 1966 in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

Mormon Footballer RinconRincón was part of the great generation of Colombian football in the late eighties and early nineties with Carlos Valderrama, Faustino Asprilla, Arnoldo Iguaran, Rene Higuita, Adolfo “the Train” Valencia and Leonel Alvarez, among others. Rincón began his career at Atlético Buenaventura in 1986. Early in his career he played for Independente Santa Fé de Bogota and was the team captain for América de Cali (Colombia). He was transferred to Italian football, where he worked for Napoli (Naples) during the 1994 season. In 1995, the Real Madrid of Spain acquired his services and a year later moved to Brazil, where he played for the Palmeiras and the Corinthians. In 2000 the Club moved to strengthen Santos, with whom he played for two seasons.

While playing for the Colombian National Team he participated in several World Cup Championships: Italy in 1990, USA in 1994, and France in 1998, scoring a total of 17 goals and 84 caps for the Colombian National Team.  His most important and most memorable goal is the one he scored against West Germany  in Milan Italy on 19 June 1990 during the World Cup. During a qualifying match for the 1994 FIFA World Cup on 5 September 1993, he scored the first goal of the game. He also played in the Copa America in 1995 and 1997, in friendlies in 2001, and qualified  for the World Cup Korea-Japan. He ended his days as a footballer playing again in Brazil for Palmeiras, Corinthians, Santos and Cruzeiro. During the time that he played for the Corinthians, the club won the Brazilian championship in 1998 and 1999. In 2000 the club won the first FIFA Club World Cup. He officially retired as a footballer in 2004.

In 2005, he started a football manager career, after he was hired as Iraty manager for the 2006 season. On 27 September 2006 he was hired as São Bento’s manager. In 2007, Rincón came under criminal investigation in Colombia and Panama, facing charges of collaboration with cocaine kingpin Pablo Rayo Montaño and suspicion of money laundering. On 9 May 2007, São Paulo police took him into custody after a Panamanian request for extradition.  In 2009 he was hired as Corinthians youth team head coach.

Rincón is considered the most complete Colombian football players ever, He is considered after Carlos Valderrama and Wilington Ortiz to be the 3rd best Colombian player ever along with Faustino Asprilla. He was a player with great stamina and incredible physical power and a great scorer. He is currently the coach of the São José Esporte Clube São José dos Campos, São Paulo.

Freddy Eusebio Gustavo Rincón Valencia was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the São Paulo Perdizes Stake in Brazil on 20 August 2005.



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Freddy Rincón