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Vilanova confirmed as new Barca coach

ESPN staff
April 27, 2012 « ESPN Extra Time - Norwich v Liverpool | Chartbeat test »
Tito Vilanova will take over from Pep Guardiola next season © Getty Images
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Barcelona have announced that Pep Guardiola's replacement as manager will be Tito Vilanova, who worked as assistant to Guardiola.

Vilanova, who left Barcelona as a player in 1990 after failing to break in to the first team, has no full managerial experience, having only worked as an assistant after hanging his boots up.

Barca have successfully promoted several players from the B team during the Guardiola reign, and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said the appointment of Vilanova was a continuation of that approach.

"Tito represents the philosophy of the club," Zubizarreta said. "We've always said that if the team needs players, we look at home first. Who do we have here at home? Tito.''

Guardiola has given his backing to Vilanova as a successor. "You can expect the best from Tito," Guardiola said. "He's more than skilled, and the players know him. I think the club made a great choice. I was just the voice of the ideas that Tito and I developed together."

Guardiola confirmed his resignation on Friday, citing burnout and saying he made his decision last year.

The sudden appointment of Vilanova came as a shock, as the likes of Laurent Blanc and Marcelo Bielsa had been considered leading contenders.

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