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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.

Preciado’s 232 games for Sporting were second only to Jose Diaz Novoa’s 282. Sporting said Preciado’s name was “written into the history of the club in golden letters.”

As a player, he also had stints with Mallorca, Alaves, Ourense, Linares and Gimnastic de Torrelavega.

Villarreal President Fernando Roig said the club will try to look after Preciado’s family.

“We will give support to his family, and we will all try to respect their feelings and help them in this difficult moment,” he said.

Preciado is a former player with several clubs including Racing Santander and had also previously coached teams including Racing, Levante, Murcia and Sporting Gijon.ints with Mallorca, Alaves, Ourense, Linares and Gimnastic de Torrelavega.

For Villarreal, the tragedy overshadows a dire season marked by injuries to key players, including striker Giuseppe Rossi, which saw it fall from playing in the Champions League to relegation that was confirmed in the closing minutes of the final round.