Former Barcelona and Spain manager Luis Enrique announces death of his daughter Xana at the age of nine after battling bone cancer
- Luis Enrique’s daughter had been fighting osteosarcoma for five months
- The 49-year-old gave up the Spain job in June for personal reasons
- He says he and his family will remember her ‘for the rest of our lives’
- Tributes have flooded in for Xana as the world of football pays its respects
Former Barcelona and Spain manager Luis Enrique has paid tribute to his daughter Xana, the ‘star that guides our family’, after announcing her death at the age of nine.
She had been battling bone cancer.
He announced in a statement on Twitter: ‘Our daughter Xana has passed away this afternoon at the age of 9, after fighting for 5 intense months against osteosarcoma.
Luis Enrique has announced the death of his daughter Xana at the age of nine
Enrique celebrates Barcelona’s Champions League win with his daughter back in 2015
‘We thank you for all the love received during these months and we appreciate the discretion and understanding.
‘Also, we thank the staff of the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospitals for their dedication and treatment, to the medical nurses and all the volunteers.
‘With a special mention to the team of palliative priests of Sant Joan de Deu. We will miss you very much but we will remember you every day of our lives in the hope that in the future we will meet again.
‘You will be the star that guides our family. Rest Xanita. Martinez Cullell family.
Enrique was forced to quit the Spain in job after just a year in charge.
Enrique enjoys some time in the middle of the pitch with his daughter following the Berlin final
Enrique and Xana pictured at the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Alaves in 2017
He had missed matches against Malta in March and San Marino and Sweden earlier this month.
His No 2 Robert Moreno stepped in and he will keep the job on a permanent basis.
Enrique said at the time: ‘Because the reasons that prevented me from developing normally my duties as a coach since last March continue to this day, I have decided to leave that position.
‘All my thanks to those responsible for the RFEF for the trust and understanding shown. Special thanks to all the people who are part of the staff and the players for their professionalism.
‘Without forgetting the media for your discretion and respect for the situation.
‘I would like to thank my staff and the players for their professionalism and the media for showing discretion and respect for the situation. Thanks from the heart.’
Enrique took over the Spain team after the last World Cup, where they were knocked out by hosts Russia on penalties in the last-16.
Spain failed to reach the final four of the League of Nations but he did win the first Euro 2020 qualifier against Bosnia and then two friendlies against Wales and Bosnia.