FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has written to the President of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) Angel Maria Villar Llona to express his deepest sympathy at the death of former Spain international Jesus Pereda.

“It is with extreme sadness that I am writing to you, having heard the tragic news of the death of Jesus Pereda, who was a distinguished professional both during his playing career with Spain and his time as national team coach," said Blatter.

Pereda, who was 73, had been suffering from cancer. A former striker, he was one of the heroes of the Spain team that won the 1964 European Championships, scoring their opening goal in the final against the USSR and setting up the winner for Marcelino.

At domestic level Pereda won the Spanish league and European Cup with Real Madrid, and also played for Sevilla and Barcelona, winning two Copas del Rey and a UEFA Fairs Cup with the Catalans. After winding his career down at Sabadell and Mallorca, he took up regional and national youth coaching posts and travelled to the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™ as an assistant to Spain coach Luis Suarez.

“On behalf of FIFA and the global football family I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to you,” Blatter told Villar Llona. “I would be most grateful if you could pass them on to the RFEF as a whole, the fans and most importantly of all, to his family, friends and loved ones.”