Tito Vilanova Steps Down as Barcelona Coach After Cancer Recurrence

Alexander Hassenstein

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has stepped down from his position after a recurrence of the throat cancer he has battled since 2011.

Tito Vilanova has resigned as Barcelona coach for health reasons.

Vilanova was diagnosed with throat cancer in November 2011 while serving as Pep Guardiola's assistant and had a tumor removed from his parotid gland. The 44 year-old returned to work shortly thereafter, and was appointed to the first team manager's position after Guardiola's departure for Bayern Munich at the end of the 2011-12 season. Vilanova suffered a recurrence of his illness and was obliged to take a leave of absence to undergo cancer treatment in New York for two months at the beginning of 2013, but returned to see his side win the La Liga title with a record-equaling 100 points.

Regrettably, after learning of a further recurrence of his cancer, the Catalan will be unable to continue as Barcelona manager.

Vilanova's duties will be temporarily taken over by his assistant, Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia, known as Rubí, who joined the club in the summer after leading Girona to promotion. A decision on a permanent managerial replacement will be made next week.

We at Managing Madrid would like to extend our best wishes for the health of Tito Vilanova, and our sympathies for him and his family during this difficult time. We sincerely hope that we shall see him again coaching at the very highest levels once he has conquered his illness. Please join us in wishing him a speedy recovery from his illness. Please do, however, keep your comments respectful.

You could also consider donating to the American Cancer Society, which funds vital research with the aim of eradicating cancer as a major health problem.

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