June 7th, 2012
Gone Too Soon: Manolo Preciado, Villarreal
Image: REUTERS/Eloy Alonso.
Manolo Preciado suffered a fatal heart attack yesterday, just 24 hours after agreeing to manage newly relegated Villarreal. He was 54-years-old.
Preciado, who was sacked by Sporting Gijon in January, was due to be unveiled at Le Madrigal tomorrow. Tributes from his former club, colleagues and players have been pouring in, including heartfelt messages from Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique on Twitter. Jose Mourinho, who saw his nine year unbeaten home record broken by Preciado’s Gijon team in April 2011, also issued a statement on Real Madrid’s website, commending him as an “honourable opponent“.
It’s also been reported this morning that England’s Jermain Defoe returned home after his father Jimmy passed away. The striker is expected to rejoin the England squad shortly, and a replacement will not be called up.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of both.