Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has died of coronavirus aged 76.
Sanz, Real’s president from 1995 to 2000, had been admitted to hospital with a fever and tested positive for the virus.
A statement on Real Madrid’s official website read: “Real Madrid, its president and the Board of Directors regret with great consternation the death of Lorenzo Sanz, who was president of Real Madrid from 1995 to 2000.
“They also want to express their deepest condolences and all their affection for his wife Mari Luz, her children, Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando, Maria Luz (Malula) and Diana, and their family and friends. Condolences that also extend to all Real Madrid.”
Real added: “Today, Real Madrid is mourning the loss of a president who dedicated a large part of his life to his great passion: Real Madrid.
“Given the current circumstances, Real Madrid will pay him the recognition he deserves as soon as possible.”
Sanz’s son Lorenzo Jr, a former player and director with Real’s basketball team, confirmed his father’s death on Twitter.
He wrote: “My father just passed away. He did not deserve this ending and this way. One of the kindest, bravest, and (most) hardworking people I have ever seen is leaving.
“His family and Real Madrid were his passion. My mother and my brothers have enjoyed all their moments with pride.”
Real won six trophies during Sanz’s time as president, including the Champions League in 1998 and 2000.
His other son Fernando Sanz, who played for Real during his father’s spell as president, confirmed earlier this week that his father had been admitted to hospital but the family were unsure at that stage whether he had the disease.
“He did not want to go to the hospital until he was short of air and he was getting worse,” Fernando Sanz said in quotes reported by Marca on Wednesday.
“They put him inside and told him that he was bad, with little oxygen in his blood. He said he had a low fever and did not want to collapse the system.”
LaLiga said in a brief statement: “From LaLiga we want to send our deepest condolences for the recent death of Lorenzo Sanz, with whom many of us have shared work and friendship.
“We share in the pain of this loss, especially for Real Madrid, the club of which he was president for years. Rest in peace.”
Sanz’s legacy will be delivering the club’s seventh Champions League title in 1998, La Septima, which came 32 years after they had last been crowned European champions.
Following Real’s second Champions League win under Sanz in 2000, he lost the presidency to Florentino Perez and was unsuccessful when he put himself forward for the vacancy in 2006 when Ramon Calderon was elected.