Tito Vilanova to step down as Barcelona coach

Tito Vilanova is to leave his post as Barcelona manager to undergo cancer treatment, the Spanish club have announced

tito vilanova
Tito Vilanova took over from Pep Guardiola last summer Photo: FC Barcelona

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has confirmed that Tito Vilanova is to leave his post as manager to undergo cancer treatment.

Rosell also announced that the club expects to name a new coach next week, but did not confirm the appointment of former Girona boss Rubi in temporary charge. The Barça president also announced that the planned friendly against Polish side Legia Gdansk has been cancelled.

Rosell said: “I’m going to give a piece of news that I would never have liked to give. After evaluating the results of routine tests carried out on Tito Vilanova, he is to undergo treatment that will be incompatible with the role of coach.

“On behalf of Tito Vilanova and his family, I wish to ask for respect for his privacy.”

He continued: “In the coming days, the vice-president of the club, Josep María Bartomeu, and the sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, will present the new coach, probably at the beginning of next week.”

Rosell concluded: “This is a huge blow, but we have overcome many others.”

Vilanova, who spent several months away from the Barça bench last season due to cancer treatment, has decided that his recovery process prevents him from remaining in charge of the first team.

According to newspaper La Vanguardia, he handed in his resignation on Friday morning after learning that he had suffered a relapse of his illness.

For the best sports news from Spain without picking up a dictionary, visit www.as.com/english

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