Manuel Preciado Rebolledo
|Full name||Manuel Preciado Rebolledo|
|Date of birth||28 August 1957|
|Place of birth||El Astillero, Spain|
|Date of death||6 June 2012(aged 54)|
|Place of death||El Perelló, Spain|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
His 15-year career was mainly associated with Racing de Santander, and he also represented five other teams, mostly in the lower leagues. As a manager, he also coached with his main club but worked mostly with Sporting de Gijón, promoting to La Liga in 2008.
Preciado died in June 2012 at the age of 54, from a heart attack.
Born in El Astillero, Cantabria, Preciado appeared in 59 La Liga matches for local Racing de Santander, split between three of his five-year spell with the club. His best-ever in the top flight was 32 games in the 1978–79 season, which ended in relegation.
After three years in Segunda División (two of them with Linares CF), Preciado resumed his career in the lower leagues, eventually retiring in 1992 with lowly Gimnástica de Torrelavega, also in his native region, at nearly 35.
Preciado took up coaching in the mid-90s, precisely with his last club. He led Gimnástica to the Tercera División championship (group 1). Being then recalled to Racing with its B-squad, another promotion to Segunda División B befell, now in 2002.
Preciado was called for first-team coaching duties in 2002–03's top flight, helping the side retain their status in his 18 games in charge. After second division spells with Levante UD – with promotion – and Real Murcia, he returned to Santander; although they finished just one point above the relegation zone, they managed a 2–1 win at Real Madrid, on 21 December 2005.
In the 2006 summer, Preciado switched to Sporting de Gijón. In his second season, he managed to lead the Asturians to the top division after ten years, then retain league status with the lowest budget of all 20 teams, after a 2–1 home win against Recreativo de Huelva in the last round on 31 May 2009.
Preciado again led Sporting into safety in the 2009–10 campaign (15th place). In November 2010, after resting almost his entire starting XI for a match against FC Barcelona two months earlier (eventually losing 0–1 away), he was accused by Real Madrid manager José Mourinho of throwing the match, and responded by calling the Portuguese a "bad colleague" and a "scumbag". After the war of words, the two teams met at the El Molinón on the 14th, with the visitors winning it 1–0; on 2 April 2011, at the Santiago Bernabéu, Sporting won by the same scoreline, becoming the first team in nine years to defeat Mourinho in a league match at home, with Preciado later commenting that "Mourinho entered our dressing room and congratulated us".
In 2002, Preciado's wife died from cancer. Two years later, his 15-year-old son (one of two the couple had) was killed in a car crash. He later claimed about the incidents: "I could have shot myself or I could have carried on".
Death and reaction
On 6 June 2012, Preciado was appointed at Villarreal CF who, as Sporting had, suffered relegation at the season's end. Later in that day, he was found dead in an hotel in the Valencian Community, from a heart attack. He was reportedly a chain-smoker, consuming 40 cigarettes a day.
According to the Associated Press, "Preciado's sudden death led to an outpouring of emotional responses from Spanish clubs, coaches and players." Spain national team manager Vicente del Bosque, in Poland to prepare for UEFA Euro 2012, told Spanish sports daily Marca "We are all shocked. We were having breakfast and we were all taken back by the news. He was a caring person and a great sportsman. He was a man of football that was an honor to coaching." Team member Juan Mata said, "The truth is that this is difficult to digest. I always remember him smiling, as a happy person that transmitted his passion, joy and character to all his teams. Talking about him in the past tense is tough for me." Mourinho issued an open letter on Real Madrid's official website, saying in part that "He had everything I like in people and sportsmen: character, honesty and the courage to fight on." Joaquín Caparrós, manager at RCD Mallorca, said "I was so happy for him joining Villarreal. I am sure he would have taken it back to the first division. He should be a reference in the world of coaching."
In Gijón, many people met at Estadio El Molinón, the home ground of Sporting, in order to pay their respects. The same day, the city Mayor announced she would make a proposal to name a street close to the stadium "Alameda de Manuel Preciado".
On 7 June 2013, just one year after Preciado's death, a bronze statue was inaugurated near El Molinón, with the funds being arranged through popular donations.
- "Manuel Preciado dies suddenly at 54". ESPN Soccernet. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Manolo Preciado earns the plaudits, but Real Madrid take the points; The Guardian, 15 November 2010
- Mourinho home record ended; ESPN Soccernet, 2 April 2011
- Preciado: "Mourinho entró en el vestuario y nos felicitó" (Preciado: "Mourinho entered the locker room and congratulated us"); Marca, 2 April 2011 (in Spanish)
- "Lamento si hice algo mal, seré de este equipo siempre" ("I'm sorry if i did something wrong, this will be my team for always"); Diario AS, 31 January 2012 (in Spanish)
- Fallece el padre de Preciado por un atropello (Preciado's father dies after being run over); Marca, 20 April 2011 (in Spanish)
- Preciado ya es el nuevo técnico del Villarreal (Preciado is the new coach of Villarreal); Marca, 6 June 2012 (in Spanish)
- Fallece Manuel Preciado en un hotel de la comunidad valenciana de un infarto (Preciado passes away in a hotel of the Valencian Community due to heart attack); El Comercio, 7 June 2012 (in Spanish)
- Fallece Manolo Preciado (Manolo Preciado dies); Marca, 7 June 2012 (in Spanish)
- Manuel Preciado – a tribute; Balls Out in Public, 7 June 2012
- Multitudinario homenaje a Preciado en El Molinón (Massive hommage to Preciado at El Molinón); El Comercio, 7 June 2012 (in Spanish)
- Manuel Preciado dará nombre a una calle (Street to be named after Manuel Preciado); El Comercio, 7 June 2012 (in Spanish)
- Preciado verá salir el sol todos los días desde El Molinón (Preciado will see the sun come up every day from El Molinón); Fútbol Asturiano, 7 June 2013 (in Spanish)