Friday, August 30, 2019

Ex-Spain coach Luis Enrique's 9-year-old daughter dies

The nine-year-old daughter of former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has died after a five-month battle with cancer.

Enrique, 49, paid tribute to Xana in a heartbreaking post on Thursday afternoon, describing her as 'the star that guides our family'.

Xana had fought osteosarcoma - or bone cancer -  for 'five intense months', the Spaniard revealed on Twitter.

Xana was the youngest of three children born to Enrique and wife Elena Cullell. The couple also have a 19-year-old son named Pacho and an 18-year-old daughter, Sira.

Enrique, who also coached the Spanish national team, thanked those who had sent well wishes over recent months and medical staff for their 'dedication'.

In a statement from his official account, he wrote: 'Our daughter Xana has passed away this afternoon at the age of 9, after fighting for 5 intense months against osteosarcoma.

'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.'

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was among those to pay 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.'