Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz dies after contracting coronavirus

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. 

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

A La Liga statement read: "The thoughts of everybody 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 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.

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