Villarreal manager Manolo Preciado dies one day into job
Outspoken boss who told Jose Mourinho how to behave died of a heart attack
SPANISH football manager Manolo Preciado has died of a heart attack at the age of 54, a day after being named as the new manager of Villarreal.
The former Sporting Gijon boss passed away on Thursday morning, Spanish media reported that he had been suffering from a virus. He was due to be officially unveiled by Villarreal at a press conference on Friday.
"Preciado also managed Racing Santander, Gimnastic, Murcia and Levante and, as a player, the journeyman defender had successful spells at Racing, Mallorca and Alaves," reported Caught Offside.
Preciado, whose bushy moustache made him unmistakable, was known as one of the characters of the Spanish game who was not afraid to take on the big guns of La Liga.
"Preciado is like a Cantabrian Ian Dury, a people's poet and street philosopher with the deep gravely voice of the chain-smoker, floor vibrating with every word." wrote The Guardian in 2010 after he got involved in a spectacular war of words with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.
The Special One had accused Preciado's Gijon team of not trying against title rivals Barcelona. At first Preciado laughed off the claim but when Mourinho repeated the allegation, the Gijon boss saw red.
"If no one at Real Madrid is going to tell this bloke how to behave, I will," he announced. "Who the f**k does he think he is to say things like that? Who does he think he is to say that about a team like us: a humble side that fights to the very last to stay in the top flight? Well, we might be poor but we're not idiots."
He even called him a "canalla" a Spanish word which roughly translates as scumbag.
In 2011 he took even greater revenge on Mourinho, ending his nine year unbeaten home league record, as Gijon beat Real at the Bernabeu.
But it wasn't just Mourinho who felt his tongue. He once threatened to "bite" former Gijon player David Villa and described Joaquin "as dangerous as a monkey with a gun".
Preciado also had to overcome adversity in his career. In 2002 his wife died of cancer, and two years later his 15-year-old son was killed in a car crash. Last year his father died after being run over.
Tributes from Spanish clubs and players flooded in after the news of Preciado's death broke. Sporting Gijon said Preciado had played an "integral part of this club's history" and, like Villarreal, expressed its deepest condolencies.
Cesc Fabregas wrote on Twitter: "I cannot believe the news when I woke up. From here my most sincere hug to all the family of Manolo Preciado."