Villarreal`s coach dies one day after appointment
Valencia: Spanish football team Villarreal`s newly appointed coach Manuel Preciado died of a heart attack on Thursday, just a day after he was appointed. He was 54.
Preciado, who only agreed to take charge of the team on Wednesday, had a one-year deal at Villarreal. The team was relegated from the Spanish league last season.
Villarreal`s website said the team had expressed its condolences to Preciado`s family.
Preciado is a former player with several clubs including Racing Santander and had also previously coached teams including Racing, Levante, Murcia and Sporting Gijon.
The team said Preciado was in Valencia when he was stricken early Thursday.
"We are all shocked," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said from Poland where he is preparing his team for the European Championship.
"We were having breakfast and we were all taken back by the news," he told Spanish radio Marca. "He was a caring person and a great sportsman. He was a man of football that was an honor to coaching."
Preciado, a native of the Cantabria region in northern Spain, began coaching in the third division in 1995. He led Levante from the second to the first division in the 2003-04 season, and also guided Sporting back to the topflight for the first time in ten years in 2007-08.
He coached Sporting for a total of five and a half seasons before a poor start last year led to him being fired midway through the season. Sporting did not recover and was relegated, along with Villarreal and Racing.
Preciado was a fan favorite in Gijon and one of the most charismatic managers in Spain, known for his frank and entertaining manner of addressing both press and players alike.