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Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz dies after coronavirus diagnosis

Lorenzo Sanz served as Real Madrid’s president from 1995-2000, leading the club to a pair of Champions League titles. (Behrendt/Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz died on Saturday after he had tested positive for COVID-19, the club announced on Saturday afternoon

He was 76.

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Sanz, according to ESPN, had suffered a fever for more than a week at home before he was admitted to a hospital in Madrid on Tuesday. 

Sanz’s son confirmed the news on Twitter.

“My father has just died,” Sanz’s son, Lorenzo, wrote, via ESPN. “He didn't deserve this ending and in this way. One of the best, bravest, hardest-working people I've ever known leaves us. His family and Real Madrid were his passion. My mother and my siblings enjoyed all of his moments with pride. RIP.”

Sanz served as Real Madrid’s president from 1995-2000 and led the club to a pair of Champions League titles — including one in 1998 over Juventus that ended a 32-year drought. The club also won La Liga in 1997 under his watch. He was succeeded by Florentino Perez. 

Sanz is survived by his wife, Mari, and his five children. One of his sons, Fernando, played for Real Madrid from 1995-1998 while his dad served as president, too.

“Today, all of Madridismo is in mourning following the passing of the president who dedicated a huge part of his life to his great passion: Real Madrid,” the club said in a statement, in part. “Given the current circumstances, Real Madrid will give him the recognition he deserves as soon as possible.”

Spain has seen one of the largest outbreaks of the coronavirus in Europe, and had nearly 25,000 positive cases as of Saturday afternoon, according to the New York Times. Only Italy had seen more on the continent, surpassing 53,500 cases on Saturday.

Sanz was one of several notable figures in the soccer world to contract the coronavirus. Both former Italian star and AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini and Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla announced they had tested positive on Saturday. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi had previously tested positive, too.

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