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Former Real Madrid star announces tragic death of 9-year-old daughter

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By Alexander Kacala  with TODAY Lifestyle
Luis Enrique
Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique and his daughter Xana Martinez celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League Final between Barcelona and Juventus at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.   -   Copyright  Visionhaus/Ben Radford Corbis via Getty Images

A notable former player and coach in the professional soccer world lost his 9-year-old daughter this week to osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

Luis Enrique played the sport from 1991 until 2004 for Real Madrid and Barcelona. He also played for Spain's national team in three World Cups and one European Championship.

The 49-year-old former midfielder became a manager and coach later in life. In 2018, he was named as coach for the Spanish national team, but stepped down from his post earlier this year for "family reasons."

Visionhaus/Ben Radford
Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique and his daughter Xana Martinez.Visionhaus/Ben Radford

On Thursday, Enrique took to Twitter to announce that his daughter, Xana, lost her battle with bone cancer after being diagnosed with the disease five months earlier.

"Our daughter Xana has died this afternoon at the age of nine after struggling for five intense months with osteosarcoma," he wrote in Spanish. "We thank you for all the love received during these months and we appreciate the discretion and understanding."

He added, "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 doctors, nurses and volunteers, with a special mention to the palliative priests at Sant Joan de Deu."

Enrique ended his statement with a heartbreaking message to his daughter: "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."