Barça's incoming manager, Tito Vilanova, knows the team perfectly. He has been Pep Guardiola’s right hand man for the past four seasons at the head of FC Barcelona. They both got their start with Barça B in 2007, the following year, after Barça B was promoted to Second Division B, they were awarded manager positions in FC Barcelona’s first team. They oversaw Barça’s most glorious era in Club history.
Guardiola’s right hand man
Guardiola has highlighted the impact that Vilanova - simple and discrete - has had on the team on more than one occasion. The current manager has praised Vilanova’s ability to make decisions both on and off the pitch, especially when it comes to executing strategic plays. Vilanova, who has a strong personality and a winning character, is studious in his football and clearly prefers an attacking and passing style of play. His four years on the Barça bench has earned him the reputation of being methodical and hard working when it comes to preparing the team.
Made in La Masía
Born in Bellcaire d’Empordà, Girona, on September 17th 1969, Vilanova joined Barça’s youth system in 1984 - interestingly enough, this was the same year that Guardiola joined the team. Vilanova was part of one of La Masía’s most successful youth teams. The first-team manager applied his skills in the midfield, he made the leap to Barça B and played three friendlies with the first team in the 1988/89 seaon.
He played professional footballer for Figueres, Celta (Primera Division), Badajoz, Mallorca, Lleida, Elche and Gramenet.
Debut with Barça’s U15 team
After hanging up his boots for the last time, Vilanova started his career as a FC Barcelona manager in 2001/02 when he took charge of the team’s U15 B squad. The team featured a young Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas and Leo Messi. He then managed Palafrugell, Figueres and Terrassa before reuniting with Josep Guardiola in 2007. Five years after helping Guardiola manage Barça B and the Club’s first team, Vilanova will make the jump to head manager of FC Barcelona.