“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.
Preciado, who was known for his frank speaking style, had been due to be officially unveiled as Villarreal’s new coach today on a one-year deal. Preciado lost his first wife to cancer in 2002 and two years later the youngest of the couple’s two sons was killed in a car accident at the age of 15. Last year his father died after being run over by a car.
Spanish squad mourn in Poland
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.
Preciado, who remarried in October 2011, began coaching in the third division in 1995. During his career he helped lift two clubs to the Spanish first division — Levante in the 2003-04 season and Sporting Gijon in the 2007-08 season. He also coached Racing Santander and Murcia. —