The footballing world has been quick to pay its respects to the former Sporting Gijon manager who died of a heart attack days after being unveiled as the new Villarreal coachTributes to the popular Manolo Preciado are flooding in, as Spanish players, coaches and supporters mourn the loss of the 54-year-old who died on Thursday.
Preciado was the second longest-serving coach in Sporting Gijon's history during a colourful career that also saw him take charge at Levante and Racing Santander.
The news of Preciado's death was greeted with shock and dismay at Spain's Euro 2012 training base in Gniewino, Poland, with many of the reigning champions paying tribute to him through social networking sites.
Spanish captain Iker Casillas reacted to the news on Facebook stating: "A great man leaves us. One of the best men in football. RIP Manolo Preciado," while Sergio Ramos tweeted: "It's been the first [thing] I've heard when I woke up. Terrible news. What an unfair life. He was a great person."
Athletic Bilbao star Iker Muniain tweeted: "The first news this morning, the death of a noble man. RIP Preciado. All my admiration to him."
Barcelona stars Gerard Pique and Thiago Alcantara also paid their respects on Twitter, with the defender referring to Preciado as "one of the best people in football."
Andres Iniesta also paid his condolences to Preciado, who lost his wife to cancer and a son in a road accident, stating on Facebook: "It is a sad day with the loss of Manolo Preciado, what a great guy. I hope we can dedicate many victories to him in this tournament."
Villarreal, relegated to Spain's second tier last season, only announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement with Preciado to take charge of the club next season.
He was due to be officially unveiled to the media by the 2006 Champions League semi-finalists on Friday.
Spanish national team coach Vicente del Bosque also paid tribute to Preciado from Poland in an interview with Marca Radio.
"He was a man of football who represented the best values of his profession," said Del Bosque. "He was a fighter who leaves a large gap in this world."