Former assistant under Pep Guardiola carried on predecessor's winning tradition
Former Barcelona coach Vilanova dies after battle with cancer
BARCELONA, Spain // Tito Vilanova, the coach who succeeded Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and won the Spanish league title in his only season in charge, died Friday following a long battle with throat cancer. He was 45.
Vilanova, who has been fighting a recurring tumor in a saliva gland, was admitted to a local hospital in Barcelona last week.
He took over at the Nou Camp ahead of the 2012-13 season, having been Guardiola’s assistant during the most successful period in the club’s history, during which they won three out of four Primera Liga titles and two Uefa Champions Leagues in 2009 and 2011.
Barca went on to make the best-ever start to a league season with 18 wins from 19 games but, in December 2012, Vilanova was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. It meant that his assistant Jordi Roura was forced to take charge of the team on occasions when he was undergoing treatment.
Vilanova is survived by his wife, Montse Chaure, and two children. His son Adrian is currently in Barcelona’s youth academy.
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