Lorenzo Sanz, the former president of Real Madrid, died Saturday after contracting coronavirus, according to multiple reports. He was 76 years old.
Sanz’s son, Lorenzo Sans Duran, confirmed the death on Twitter saying in Spanish, “My father has just died. 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.”
His tenure at the Bernabeu went for five years, from 1995-2000. In that time, Real Madrid won the Champions League twice — in 1998, breaking a 38-year drought, and in 2000 — and won La Liga once in 1997. He was responsible for signing players to the Spanish club such as Davor Suker, Pedrag Mijatovic, Roberto Carlos and Clarence Seedorf. Sanz’s time as president came to an end after losing an election to Florentino Perez, officially kicking off Real’s big-spending ‘Galatico’ era.
Sanz had initially chosen to stay home while feeling sick so as not to further overwhelm Spain’s medical service, but ultimately went to the hospital on Tuesday when his fever had lasted for eight days. After testing positive for COVID-19, an infection gave him kidney failure and he died Saturday night, according to the press.
He is survived by his wife, Mari Luz, and his five children: Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando — who played for Real Madrid as a defender from 1995 to 1999 and now serves as a La Liga ambassador — 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.