New Villarreal manager Manuel Preciado dies from heart attack
Manuel Preciado, who was yesterday appointed as Villarreal’s new head coach, has died of a heart attack aged just 54.
Preciado was sadly no stranger to tragedy after his wife died from cancer in 2002 before his 15-year-old son was tragically killed in a car crash just two years later.
Journalist Sid Lowe, who writes and reports about Spanish football, tweeted: “Desperately sad news. Manolo Preciado has died of a heart attack. Only yesterday he had become Villarreal's coach.
“Life was unspeakably cruel to Manolo Preciado but he always fought back. Funny, big hearted, loveable, a man who cared and loved football.”
It was Preciado’s Sporting Gijon side who, back in April 2011, became the first team in nine years to beat a Jose Mourinho-managed team at home in the league.
The former Sporting boss was a hugely loved and respected manager in La Liga and the response from a number of senior figures in Spanish football has backed up that fact.
Real Madrid posted on their official Twitter account: “Real Madrid C.F. wishes to send its condolences to the family and friends of Manolo Preciado who passed away today. May he rest in peace.”
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas took to Twitter to express his sadness at the shock news: “I can't believe the bad news i just woke up with. Hugs for the family of Manolo Preciado. RIP my friend.”
Teammate David Villa also posted his condolences on Twitter: Don't have words to express how I feel. A close friend and incredible person has left. A hug to his family. RIP Manolo Preciado”
It wasn’t only players who Preciado had an impact upon as Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague tweeted: “So sorry to hear about Manolo Preciado. The most charismatic nicest man in the game. Hit by tragedy far too often. Will be greatly missed. RIP.”
Preciado’s presence in Spanish football will be greatly missed and it is surely now up to Villarreal to make him proud by regaining their place in La Liga.