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Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz dies after contracting coronavirus

21:47 GMT 21/03/2020
Lorenzo Sanz Real Madrid 2006
The Spaniard oversaw two European Cup triumphs during his five years in charge of Los Blancos

Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has died at the age of 76, just days after being hospitalised with coronavirus-like symptoms.

Fernando Sanz, Lorenzo's son, said on Wednesday that he had been admitted to hospital after a period of ill health, but has now confirmed that he sadly passed away on Saturday.

"My father has just died. He did not deserve this ending and in this way," Fernando Sanz wrote on Twitter. "One of the kindest, bravest, and hardworking people I've ever seen is leaving. 

"His family and Real Madrid were his passion. My mother and my brothers have enjoyed all their moments with pride."

A Real statement said: "Real Madrid C. F., the club president and board of directors all wish to express the deepest regret at the passing of Lorenzo Sanz, who was club president of Real Madrid from 1995 to 2000.
 
The club wishes to convey its condolences to his wife Mari Luz, his children, Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando, María Luz (Malula) and Diana, as well as his family and friends. Our condolences are shared by all madridistas.
 
During the presidency of Lorenzo Sanz, Real Madrid continued to add to its history and legendary status. He was president of the club when, after 32 years, the club won its much awaited seventh European Cup, in Amsterdam in 1998.
 
With Lorenzo Sanz as president of Real Madrid, the club won two European Cups and an Intercontinental Cup, a league title, a Spanish Super Cup, a basketball league title and the Saporta Cup.
 
Today, all of madridismo is in mourning following the passing of the president who dedicated a huge part of his life to his great passion: Real Madrid.
 
Given the current circumstances, Real Madrid will give him the recognition he deserves as soon as possible."

La Liga also paid tribute to Sanz, with a statement saying: "The thoughts of everybody at La Liga go out to our colleague Fernando Sanz and his family following the death of Lorenzo Sanz, who many of us have worked with and shared friendship.

"La Liga expresses its sincerest condolences for the loss, particular towards Real Madrid, where Sanz spent many years as president.”

Sanz was in charge of Real Madrid for five years from 1995 until 2000, having spent the previous decade as a director.

His tenure saw Los Blancos re-establish themselves as one of the world's biggest and most influential football clubs. 

They ended a 32-year wait for European Cup success with victory over Juventus in 1998 before following it up with another triumph in 2000 - the eighth time they had lifted the famous trophy.

However, just two months after that success, Sanz lost the presidential election to Florentino Perez, who had highlighted the financial problems at the club despite their on-field triumphs.

He ran for presidency on two more occasions but was unsuccessful, losing to Perez again in 2004 and Ramon Calderon in 2006.

He bought Spanish side Malaga later that year, before selling the club to Qatari businessman Sheikh Abdullah ben Nasser Al Thani in 2010.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a crisis over the globe, with Spain one of the countries worst affected.

On Saturday, Spain reported a further 324 deaths, the highest one-day rise so far, with a total 1,326 people having died in the country since the outbreak.