Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz died on Saturday after being taken to hospital with coronavirus, his son announced.
Sanz, 76, was president at the Bernabeu from 1995-2000, a period in which Real won the Champions League twice.
“My father has just died,“ wrote Sanz’s son Lorenzo Sanz Duran on Twitter.
“He did not deserve this end in this manner. One of the best, most courageous and hard working people I have seen in my life. His family and Real Madrid were his passion.“
Sanz signed players such as Roberto Carlos, Clarence Seedorf and Davor Suker during his time in charge of the 33-time Spanish champions,
He lost the 2000 presidential election to Florentino Perez, which sparked Real’s big-spending ‘Galatico’ era.
Sanz’s son Fernando, 46, played for Real Madrid from 1996-1999 before spending the final seven years of his career at Malaga.
Current club captain and Spanish international Sergio Ramos, who with teammates is in quarantine after one of the club’s basketball players tested positive for the virus, hailed Sanz.
“Very sad day for Real Madrid. Lorenzo Sanz connected yesterday and today with two numbers for history – 7 and 8,“ tweeted Ramos in reference to the key Champions League titles.
“His death saddens us even more in these difficult days in which we find ourselves. My deep condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace.“
Día muy triste para el madridismo. Lorenzo Sanz conectó el ayer y el hoy con dos números para la historia: 7 y 8. Su muerte entristece aún más estos días difíciles en los que nos encontramos. Mis profundas condolencias para familia y amigos. Descansa en paz.— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) March 21, 2020
He is survived by his wife, Mari Luz, and his five children: Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando, María Luz [Malula] and Diana.
More than 24,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Spain, with nearly 1,400 deaths as a result of the respiratory disease.