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Vilanova steps down as Barca boss

ESPN staff
July 19, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Barcelona confirmed on Friday that Tito Vilanova is stepping down as coach to receive treatment for throat cancer.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell confirmed the information with a brief statement read at the club's offices with the players present.

"Today we are before you to give you news that I would never have wanted to give," Rosell said. "After evaluating the follow-up exams of Tito, the option to continue his treatment will be incompatible with his development as coach beginning right now.

"I would like to ask all media, in his name and that of his family, to show respect for them beginning today."

Rosell said an announcement on Vilanova's replacement would be made in the near future, while the club's friendly with Lechia Gdansk will be cancelled.

"Over the next few days, we will be presenting a new coach, probably at the beginning of next week. We have met with all the players, with the captains and the veterans and we have decided not to play in Poland tomorrow.

"We have also decided that life goes on. This is a tough break for Barca but we have had many and we always come through. So, I will ask all of you for your understanding."

Rather than a news conference, Rosell read only the statement and then adjourned with all the players.

Vilanova, 44, had twice previously had to take a medical break from his duties at Barcelona, once during his time as Pep Guardiola's assistant in the 2011-12 season and again as when he became head coach last season.

In his single season in charge, he led Barcelona to the Spanish league title with a record-tying 100 points.

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