Thursday, 7 June 2012

Manuel Preciado Tragic death

Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid manager, has led the tributes for Manuel Preciado, who died on Thursday morning just 24 hours after being named as the new Villarreal coach. He was 54. Relegated Villarreal announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement for Preciado to take charge of the club next season as they sought an immediate return to La Liga.

Preciado, who had parted company with former club Sporting Gijon in January, had been set to be presented as the Villarreal's new manager on Friday, but news broke on Thursday morning that the Cantabrian had died of heart attack overnight in Valencia.

Villarreal president Fernando Roig said: ''He was a great person for football. We are going to support his family and try to help them at this difficult time.'' Preciado, a native of the Cantabria region in northern Spain, began coaching in the third division in 1995. He led Levante from the second to the first division in the 2003-04 season, and also guided Sporting back to the topflight for the first time in ten years in 2007-08.

He coached Sporting for a total of five and a half seasons before a poor start last year led to him being fired midway through the season. Sporting did not recover and was relegated, along with Villarreal and Racing.

Preciado was a fan favorite in Gijon and one of the most charismatic managers in Spain, known for his frank and entertaining manner of addressing both press and players alike.

Preciado's 232 games for Sporting were second only to Jose Diaz Novoa's 282. Sporting said Preciado's name was "written into the history of the club in golden letters."

As a player, he also had stints with Mallorca, Alaves, Ourense, Linares and Gimnastic de Torrelavega.

Villarreal President Fernando Roig said the club will try to look after Preciado's family.

"We will give support to his family, and we will all try to respect their feelings and help them in this difficult moment," he said.

Preciado is a former player with several clubs including Racing Santander and had also previously coached teams including Racing, Levante, Murcia and Sporting Gijon.ints with Mallorca, Alaves, Ourense, Linares and Gimnastic de Torrelavega.

For Villarreal, the tragedy overshadows a dire season marked by injuries to key players, including striker Giuseppe Rossi, which saw it fall from playing in the Champions League to relegation that was confirmed in the closing minutes of the final round.

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