Barcelona were left hugely saddened by the death of their former manager Tito Vilanova. The former assistant manager to Pep Guardiola had a lot of connections with the club. Even though he was their manager for only one season, he led them to the league title before ultimately stepping down due to health reasons. The 45-year-old has recently passed their way after several years of battle with cancer. The cancer was first diagnosed when he was working as the assistant manager to Guardiola, with whom he had forged a great friendship when they were playing at the Barcelona youth academy.
Vilanova and Guardiola are widely thought to be responsible for heralding one of the most successful eras in Barcelona’s history. Working in tandem, they led the club to an incredible 14 trophies in the space of five years. Vilanova was unable to repeat the magic in terms of other competitions, but he did lead them to league title success. Midfielder Javier Mascherano says that the club will continue to fight against all adversaries like Vilanova did during his latter stages of his life.
Barcelona paid tribute to the former manager with a 3-2 win over Villarreal during the weekend. All the players wore a black band for this match.
"Each one of us is getting on in our way. Everything is so fresh and the only thing we can do is stand by his family and try to share their pain. Tito always treated me very well. Whenever we won a title, I would hug him and thank him for the experience. What we have to do is fight until the end like Tito. We have a lot of fight left in us. We knew that his battle was a hard one but we never imagined that this would happen until it did," said the midfielder.