» Sports » Soccer Extras: Enrique's daughter loses cancer battle

Soccer Extras: Enrique's daughter loses cancer battle

August 30, 2019 08:52 IST

Luis Enrique

IMAGE: Luis Enrique quit his role with the Spanish national team in June to spend time with his daughter Xana, who lost her five-month fight against the disease on Thursday. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters.

Former Spain coach Luis Enrique has announced the death of his nine-year-old daughter Xana following a battle with cancer.

Enrique quit his role with the national team in June to spend time with his daughter, who lost her five-month fight against the disease on Thursday.


"Our daughter Xana passed away this afternoon aged nine after fighting for five intense months with osteosarcoma (bone cancer)," he said in a statement.

"We want to say thanks for all the shows of warmth received over the past few months and we appreciate the discretion and comprehension shown.

"We also want to thank the staff at the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospital for their dedication and treatment, to the doctors, nurses and all the volunteers. With a special mention to the palliative care team at Sant Joan de Deu.

"We will miss you a lot but we will remember you every day of our lives with the hope that one day in the future we will meet again. You will be the star that guides our family. Rest (in peace) Xanita."

Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of Barcelona where Luis Enrique won two Liga titles both as a player and coach and spent 11 years in all, sent condolences on behalf of the Catalan club.

"All of our support and compassion goes to Luis Enrique, his wife and all of his family at this particularly painful time," Bartomeu said in a tweet.

"All the Barca family are touched by the loss of Xana. Our condolences and all our sympathy for the Martinez Cullell family."

Osteosarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer and is most prevalent in teenagers and young adults.

Manchester United's Sanchez completes loan move to Inter

Alexis Sanchez

IMAGE: Chile forward Alexis Sanchez failed to make an impact at Manchester United, scoring just five goals in 45 appearances in all competitions for the club. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters/Reuters.

Manchester United's Chile forward Alexis Sanchez has joined Inter Milan on a season-long loan, the clubs said on Thursday.

The deal runs until June 30, 2020 and comes after a disappointing spell for the 30-year-old at Old Trafford.

Sanchez joined United from Premier League rivals Arsenal in January 2018 as part of a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan but has failed to make an impact, scoring five goals in 45 appearances in all competitions for the club.

"Manchester United and Internazionale have agreed a loan deal for Alexis Sanchez," United said in a brief statement on their website "We wish Alexis well for his season-long loan."

Italian media reported this week that United would continue to pay part of Sanchez's wages at Inter and that there was no obligation to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

Sanchez will join up with Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku who left United for Inter this month in a deal reported to have cost the Serie A club around 80 million euros ($ 89.15 million).

The Chilean, who previously spent three seasons in Serie A with Udinese before moving to Barcelona, is his country's all-time leading scorer with 43 goals.

"On behalf of the entire Nerazzurri family, we'd like to wish (Sanchez) a very warm welcome and the best of luck," read a statement from Inter.

Lewandowski extends Bayern deal by two years to 2023 

Robert Lewandowski

IMAGE: Poland forward Robert Lewandowski, who netted all five of Bayern's league goals this season, has scored 197 times in 246 matches in all competitions since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund in 2014. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters.

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski signed a two-year contract extension on Thursday that will keep him with the German champions until 2023.

The Poland forward, who has netted all five of Bayern's league goals this season, has scored 197 goals in 246 matches in all competitions since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

He is third on the club's list of all-time scorers behind Gerd Mueller (398) and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (217) and has already become the Bundesliga's all-time best foreign scorer with 207 league goals (for Bayern and Dortmund combined).

"Bayern has become my sporting home," the 31-year-old said in a club statement.

"I am convinced that we can achieve a lot in the coming years. Bayern are one of the three biggest clubs in the world and have a superb squad. I am proud to be a part of this club."

Lewandowski has won five league titles with Bayern as well as two German Cups and he has also won another two Bundesliga trophies with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Munich.

He has also been the league's top scorer in four of the last six seasons, including the last two.

"Robert is in my opinion the world's best centre forward and for years has been a pillar in our team," said club CEO Rummenigge.

"That is why we are delighted that he will keep playing for Bayern a long time. We are certain that with Robert we can achieve our high goals in the coming years."

The Bavarians, who have won the last seven league titles, are on four points from two games in the Bundesliga this season.

Portugal give surprise recall to Renato Sanches

Ranato Sanchez

IMAGE: Renato Sanches in action for Bayern Munich. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Reuters.

Portugal gave a surprise recall to Renato Sanches, the Euro 2016 winner whose career has since nosedived, as they named their squad for next month's Euro 2020 qualifiers on Thursday.

The defensive midfielder was a key player when he helped Portugal win the European Championship as an 18-year-old but has struggled to get playing time at Bayern Munich where he moved immediately afterwards from Benfica.

He started only 10 Bundesliga matches in two seasons at Bayern. He went on loan to Swansea City, who were in the English Premier League at the time, but suffered injuries and a loss of confidence. He signed for Ligue 1 club Lille last week.

For many, he has come to symbolise the problems which arise when a promising young player leaves his first club too soon.

"How many players can say at his age that they are European champions," coach Fernando Santos told a news conference.

"Unfortunately for him, he hasn't been playing regularly. But he has made an enormous effort and shown an enormous desire to be here."

There were no surprise exclusions with top players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix all included.

Portugal, winners of the inaugural Nations League in June, have made a slow start to the qualifiers, drawing their first two Group B games at home to Ukraine and Serbia.

They visit Serbia on September 7 and Lithuania three days later.

Squad: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Beto (Goztepe), Jose Sa (Olympiakos)

Defenders: Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Benfica), Jose Fonte (Lille), Daniel Carrico (Sevilla), Mario Rui (Napoli), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Betis), Danilo (Porto), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton), Joao Moutinho (Wolverhampton), Renato Sanches (Lille), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Pizzi (Benfica)

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Podence (Olympiakos), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton)

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