Football legend rocked by tragic death of nine-year-old daughter

Luis Enrique with his daughter Xana in 2015. (Getty Images)

Former Barcelona and Spain manager Luis Enrique had to announce the worst kind of news on Thursday, revealing that his 9-year-old daughter Xana had died from bone cancer.

Enrique had previously stepped down from his post with the Spanish national team months earlier for undisclosed personal reasons.

Enrique’s statement translated, via the Daily Star:

“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.

“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.”

The news of Enrique’s personal tragedy sparked an outpouring of support from the soccer and Spanish community.

This included messages of support from Lionel Messi and Rafael Nadal.

The 49-year-old captured two La Liga titles and a UEFA Champions League in his three years as manager of Barcelona, where he also spent eight seasons as a player.

With Jack Baer - Yahoo Sports US