Francisco Garcia, the Spanish soccer coach, has died at the age of 21 following a joint diagnosis of leukemia and coronavirus. Garcia sadly passed away on March 15. Officials in the area have said that they would have expected Garcia to survive had he just been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Garcia had been a coach at Atletico Portada Alta, a youth team that is based in Malaga, in southern Spain. He is the fifth person to die from the virus in the region. At the time of writing, 180 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the province. Garcia’s death was first announced on Atletico Portada Alta’s Instagram page.
Garcia’s Club Played a Heartbreaking Tribute to Garcia on Instagram
The heartbreaking post read, “From Atlético Portada Alta we want to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and close friends of our coach Francisco García who has left us today. Now, what do we do without you, Francis? You were always with us on Portada or where you needed it, helping us. How are we going to continue conquering kilometers in the league? We don’t know how, but we will surely do it for you. We will not forget you, rest in peace, The Greatest. Until forever.”
The Team’s President Said That On the Same Day Garcia Died, He Had Been Told That the Coach Had Been Stablized
Malaga Hoy reports that Garcia was rushed to a local hospital after exhibiting severe symptoms of the virus. While admitted, doctors found that he was also suffering from leukemia, a blood disease. Malaga Hoy, citing the Atletico Portada Alta’s president, Pepe Bueno, said that Garcia had been admitted on Friday 13th.
Bueno said that on March 15th, he received a phone call saying that Garcia had been stabilized. Garcia passed away later that day. In a separate interview with Marca, Bueno said, “[Garcia] loved the children as if they were his own.” Bueno added that Garcia “had his whole life ahead” of him.
El Mundo reports that Garcia went to the hospital because he felt as though he was suffering from the flu.
Garcia Signed His Professional Coaching Contract With Atletico Portada Alta in 2018
Garcia signed a coaching contract with Atletico Portada Alta in 2018, according to an Instagram post from the team’s official account. The post read in part, “With this crack on the bench, enthusiasm, work and commitment to the club and his team we can assure that they will not be absent.”
On his personal Instagram page, Garcia described himself as living in Carlinda, Malaga, Spain. In addition to being a soccer coach, Garcia described that he was “building projects.”
Among Those Paying Tribute to Garcia, Was Malaga CF
Among those paying tribute to Garcia was Malaga CF, the La Liga team, who tweeted that they were sending a “warm hug” to Garcia’s friends and family.
At 21, Garcia is definitely among the youngest people to die from the coronavirus outbreak. By comparison, the youngest person to have died from the outbreak in the United Kingdom is 59-year-old Nick Matthews, who passed away on March 15. The youngest other person to have died in the region around Malaga was 70 years old.