Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has died aged 76, according to a statement on the club’s website.
Sanz was president of the Spanish side from 1995 to 2000, a period that saw Real Madrid end its 32-year wait for a seventh European Cup title in 1998. He also oversaw a league victory and a further European triumph in 2000.
Sanz’s son Lorenzo commented on a tweet earlier this week which reported that his father was hospitalized with coronavirus.
Spain has been badly hit by the virus, with close to 30,000 confirmed cases and 1,720 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“The first thing I’d like to do is extend my condolences to all (Sanz’s) family, particularly his wife, Mari Luz, his children, Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando, Malula and Diana, his grandchildren, and all his friends and loved ones,” said current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
“I send them all my love, support and strength at this difficult time and I’d like them to know that madridismo is by their side.
“We are living through times we couldn’t have imagined even in our worst nightmares. Today, we remember Lorenzo Sanz, who has fallen victim to this tragedy.”
Perez added that a tribute will be made to Sanz at the club’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium when it is possible to do so given the virus outbreak, which has seen all football in Spain suspended.
“Today is the saddest day of my life,” Sanz’s son Fernando, a former Real Madrid player, wrote on Twitter.
“A great father and a great grandfather has left us, a unique person who was able to achieve everything he set out to do, but his greatest achievement was his family.
“Dad, I love you and I know that you will always keep taking care of us.”