Former Spain and Barcelona coach Luis Enrique shared the news of his nine-year-old daughter Xana’s death in a statement on Thursday after her five month battle with bone cancer.
The statement read: “Our daughter Xana has passed away this afternoon at the age of 9, after fighting for five months against osteosarcoma. We give thanks for all the caring gestures we have received during these months and we appreciate the privacy and understanding.
“We also thank the staff, doctors, nurses, and the volunteers at the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospitals for their dedication and care. And a special mention to the palliative care team at Sant Joan de Deu.
“We will miss you a lot but we will remember you every day of our lives with the hope that we will see each other soon in the future. You will be the star that guides our family.”
Luis Enrique stepped down as Spain manager on June 19, 2019, and had been on a leave of absence from the national team since March 26 with his assistant Roberto Moreno overseeing first-team duties. He took over the position following Spain’s round-of-16 exit from the 2018 World Cup.
Before taking the Spain job, Luis Enrique had a successful spell at the helm of Barcelona, winning the Treble in his first season as coach in 2014-15. He left the role at the end of his contract in the summer of 2017 after compiling a record of 138 wins, 21 losses and 22 draws in all competitions.
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu wrote on Twitter: “All of our support and compassion goes to @luisenrique21, his wife and all of his family at this particularly painful time. All the Barça family are touched by the loss of Xana. Our condolences and all our sympathy for the Martínez Cullell family.”
The Spanish Football Federation paid tribute to Xana and tweeted: “One day we achieved our star (World Cup), and from today, we have another one that enlightens us from heaven with its light. Rest in peace, little Xana. The Spanish FA joins in the grief of the Martinez Cullell family and we share the gratitude for its admirable example of love and strength.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter: “There are no words that that can go along with this pain.
“My heartfelt wishes to Luis Enrique and all his family, after the loss of his little Xana.”
Osteosarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer and is most prevalent in teenagers and young adults
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