Spanish football coach Luis Enrique remembered his daughter Xana on Sunday as his team takes on Germany in the FIFA World Cup. In a post on social media, Luis said that his daughter would have turned 13 years old had she been alive today.
“Today is a special day. Not only because we play Germany, but also because my daughter Xana would be turning 13 years old. My love, wherever you are, we love you,” the post read.
Who was Xana Martinez?
In 2019, Luis Enrique revealed that his 9-year-old daughter died after suffering from bone cancer.
Xana was suffering from Osteosarcoma, the most common form of bone cancer. Most people diagnosed with osteosarcoma are under the age of 25.
“Our daughter Xana has died this afternoon at the age of nine, after fighting for five intense months against an osteosarcoma,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter at the time. “We give thanks for all the shows of affection we’ve received during these months and we’re grateful for the discretion and understanding.
“We are also grateful to the staff of the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospitals for their dedication and treatment, to the doctors, nurses and all the volunteers. With a special mention to the palliative care team of Sant Joan de Deu,” he added.
“We’ll miss you a lot but we’ll remember you every day of our lives with the hope that in the future we will meet each other again. You will be the star that guides our family,” the post read. “Rest, Xanita.”
Luis Enrique stepped down in June after missing their three previous matches. Describing a family emergency, he had been granted leave in March 2019. Robert Moreno replaced Luis following his departure at the time
However, Luis Rubiales, head of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), said: “Our doors will always be open to him.”
The ex-Barcelona boss returned as head coach in November 2019.