Lorenzo Sanz with Real Madrid.

One of the most significant casualties in the sports world so far from the COVID-19 coronavirus is former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz. Sanz passed away at 76 Saturday, four days after he was hospitalized and admitted into intensive care following a positive test for the virus. His son Fernando tweeted about his passing:

That translates to “Today is the saddest day of my life, he has left us a great father and a great grandfather, a unique person, made himself who was able to achieve everything he set out to do, but his greatest achievement was his family. Dad I love you. And I know that you will always keep taking care of us,” as per Google Translate.

Sanz was a director of Real Madrid from 1985-1995, and then served as the club chairman from late 1995-2000. He led them to two UEFA Champions League victories in 1998 and 2000. He then went on to purchase Malaga in 2006, selling that club in 2010. And he was associated with a number of other attempted club buys and even some run-ins with the law. But it’s his time as Real Madrid chairman that’s most notable, and his time there was a large part of reestablishing that club as a top European power; their last UEFA Champions League victory before his tenure came in 1966. Sanz certainly accomplished quite a lot in the soccer world, and it’s unfortunate to hear that he’s passed after contracting this virus.

[Pro Soccer Talk; photo via Fernando Sanz on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.