The former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has died of coronavirus aged 76, La Liga has announced. Sanz, Real’s president from 1995 to 2000, had been admitted to hospital with a fever and tested positive for the virus.
La Liga said in a brief statement: “We want to send our deepest condolences for the recent death of Lorenzo Sanz, with whom many of us have shared work and friendship. We share in the pain of this loss, especially for Real Madrid, the club of which he was president for years. Rest in peace.”
Sanz’s son Lorenzo Jr, a former player and director with Real’s basketball team, confirmed his father’s death on Twitter. He wrote: “My father just passed away. He did not deserve this ending and this way. One of the kindest, bravest, and [most] hardworking people I have ever seen is leaving.
“His family and Real Madrid were his passion. My mother and my brothers have enjoyed all their moments with pride.”
He was president in 1998, when Real Madrid became European champions for the first time since 1966. They won the Champions League again in 2000 but he was defeated in that year’s election by Florentino Pérez.
A statement on Real Madrid’s website said: “Real Madrid, its president and the board of directors regret with great consternation the death of Lorenzo Sanz … They also want to express their deepest condolences and all their affection for his wife Mari Luz, her children, Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando, María Luz (Malula) and Diana, and their family and friends.
“Today, Real Madrid is mourning the loss of a president who dedicated a large part of his life to his great passion: Real Madrid. Given the current circumstances, Real Madrid will pay him the recognition he deserves as soon as possible.”