Barcelona manger Vilanova steps down for cancer treatment

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July 20: 44-year-old Tito Vilanova has stepped down as Barcelona manager to continue his treatment for cancer, he had a tumour removed from his throat in November 2011 before suffering a relapse last year.

In December 2012, Vilanova had undergone a surgery and spent 10 weeks in New York to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy before returning in March to see his side take the Spanish title.

The club said that a new manager is expected to be announced next week.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta announced the news at a brief media conference attended by the first-team squad.

"This is a very difficult blow to the club, but we have overcome many difficult setbacks and Vilanova will continue treatment of his illness, he will not be able to continue as Barcelona's head manager", Rosell said.

Tito Vilanova

Barcelona's friendly match between Polish club Lechia Gdsank on Saturday night has been cancelled.
Vilanova had replaced Pep Guardiola as manager in June 2012, has previously worked as his assistant.

Joan Francesc Ferrer popularly known as Rubi may replace Vilanova in a caretaker capacity, official reports.

He joined Barca's coaching staff last month as an assistant to Vilanova and Jordi Roura, who took charge of the first team when Vilanova was absent last season.

Rubi was head coach of Girona last term and led the club to the Segunda Division play-offs, where they lost to Almeria.

OneIndia News

(with agency inputs)

Story first published: Saturday, July 20, 2013, 16:49 [IST]
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