Madrid: Former Spain and Barcelona coach Luis Enrique lost his 9-year-old daughter to cancer as tributes poured in from players past and present as well as clubs around the world.
Enrique posted on Twitter that his daughter Xana died after a five-month battle with a type of bone cancer.
"Our daughter Xana has died this afternoon at the age of 9, after struggling for five intense months with osteosarcoma. We thank you for all the love received during these months and we appreciate the discretion and understanding," he said in a statement on Friday.
"We would also like to give personal thanks to the hospitals Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau for their dedication and treatment and to all the volunteers, with a special mention to the palliative priests at Sant Joan de Deu.
"We will miss you a lot but we will think of you every day of our lives with the hope that in the future we will meet again. You will be the star that guides our family. Rest well little Xana."
Enrique had stepped down as Spain manager in June after less than a year in charge to be with his daughter.
Lionel Messi led the tributes, posting a story on Instagram: "We are with you, all the strength of the world."
Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of Barcelona where Luis Enrique won two Liga titles both as a player and coach and spent 11 years in all, sent condolences on behalf of the Catalan club.
"All of our support and compassion goes to Luis Enrique, his wife and all of his family at this particularly painful time," Bartomeu said in a tweet.
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. https://t.co/yLWe4J4j70 — Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) August 29, 2019
Luis Suarez wrote: "Moment of much pain and sadness. Rest in peace XANITA. A lot of strength Luis Enrique, Elena and family!"
Momento de mucho dolor y tristeza. Descansa en paz XANITA. Mucha fuerza @LUISENRIQUE21, Elena y FAMILIA!!!!! 😔🙏 pic.twitter.com/84Svh90w5Y — Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) August 29, 2019
David de Gea said he was left 'speechless' by Xana's death.
"Mister, all our support and love for you and your family. There are no words, but you always have us by your side," Sergio Ramos said.
Míster, todo nuestro apoyo y cariño para ti y para tu familia. No hay palabras, pero nos tienes a tu lado siempre. — Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) August 29, 2019
So sorry for your loss. Sending my love to your family in this difficult moment. Rest in peace, Xana. — Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) August 30, 2019
Mucha fuerza míster. Difícil de encontrar palabras en estos momentos... Un fuerte abrazo🙏🏻 — César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) August 29, 2019
Mucha fuerza para toda la familia y mis más sinceras condolencias. DEP 🙏👼 — David Silva (@21LVA) August 29, 2019
Can’t even begin to understand how you and your family are feeling, this is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you all. — Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) August 29, 2019
Adrian posted: "Horrible news that make us rethink our lives and what is really important about it. My deepest condolences Luis Enrique And all your family. FORCES!! DEP Xana."
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also paid his tribute to Xana, writing 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," he said.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) it "mourns the sad loss of little Xana" and it "wants to show our condolences to family and friends, joining us all today in their pain."