Colombia icon Freddy Rincon is in a critical condition in hospital following a car crash.
The ex-Real Madrid and Napoli midfielder, 55, has undergone surgery on severe head injuries after his vehicle collided with a bus in Cali on Monday morning, according to local outlet El Tiempo.
Having been rushed from the scene to hospital, the Imbanaco Clinic released the following statement: “With the authorisation of his family, we confirm that Freddy Eusebio Rincon Valencia was admitted to the clinic today.
“After an initial valuation, the team of specialists in charge of the patient took the decision to carry out surgery which is ongoing.”
Head doctor Laureano Quintero added: “He has suffered a severe head injury. The situation is critical.”
It is understood the Rincon was one of four people, including the bus driver, who emerged hurt from the collision.
Rincon is one of Colombia’s most iconic players, having played at three World Cups for his country.
He shares with Carlos Valderrama the record for the most World Cup finals appearances for his country, having played in 10 tournament games, and scored the goal which sent the nation to the knockout stages of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
The former midfielder struck late against eventual-champions West Germany to seal a draw at the San Siro.
He is also remembered for his role in Corinthians’ Club World Cup victory in 2000.
Messages of support have poured in from across the football world for Rincon.
Real Madrid, where he spent two years between 1995 and 1997, tweeted: “”From Real Madrid C.F., all of our strength and affection for Freddy Rincon following the accident he was involved in today. We send our encouragement and we hope that he overcomes this difficult moment as soon as possible.”