Villarreal coach dies one day after appointment
Spanish coach Manuel Preciado died of a heart attack on Thursday at the age of 54, just a day after he was named the new coach at relegated side Villarreal.
“A heart attack claimed the life of Manuel Preciado in the early hours at a hotel in Valencia,” his former side Sporting Gijon said in a statement.
“Villarreal want to express their deepest sorrow at the sad loss and want to offer their condolences to his family and all his relatives,” the club Preciado was joining added.
Preciado had been due to be officially unveiled as Villarreal’s new coach on Friday.
He lost his wife to cancer in 2002 and two years later the youngest of the couple’s two sons was killed in a car accident.
Last year, his father died after being run over by a car.
“Life has given me strong blows. I could have become vulnerable and shot myself or I could look up to the sky and carry on. I preferred the second option,” Preciado once said.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, in Poland with the rest of the national team for Euro 2012, called the news of Preciado’s death “a blow”.
“We were all having breakfast when we heard the news and it had a real impact on us,” he told radio Marca.
“It is hard to believe that so much can happen in so little time to someone. It makes you realise how we are nothing,” he added.
“I did not have regular contact with him but he was always a warm man, a man of football who represented the values of this sport. A fighter who opened a space for himself in this world.”
Preciado had been out of work since Sporting Gijon fired him in January after nearly six years in charge of the club following a 1-5 away loss against Real Sociedad which left the team in the relegation zone.
He coached Racing Santander in the 2002-03 season and was in charge of Levante the following season, when he led them to the first division.