Tito Vilanova. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

In the press conference to announce the departure of Pep Guardiola from Barça on June 30, President Sandro Rosell also reported that the next manager will be Tito Vilanova, who has been Guardiola’s assistant throughout his four years in charge of the first team.

“When Pep said in October that he was thinking of not continuing after the end of this season, finding a substitute was a huge challenge" explained Andoni Zubizarreta. “The decision has come about as a result of many considerations. The most important is to continue competing the same way. Tito Vilanova represents our football, analysis, planning, commitment and personality.” The director of football also commented that that it is a wonderful show of Vilanova’s character that, despite the enormous weight attached to Guardiola’s name, he was willing to accept the difficult challenge of replacing him.

Guardiola himself was full of praise for Tito Vilanova: “I expect all the best. I think the club has made the right decision, from top to bottom. He is a capable person that the players all know. I put the voice to joint ideas. He will give to this club and these players everything that I couldn’t give them” he said.

A friend’s advice

Guardiola also said that he only had one thing to say to Tito: “If you feel capable, then don’t doubt. They’re offering you the chance to manage Barça. Every manager in the world would want that job.” He added that he won’t be trying to influence matters in the future, but will be ready to offer Tito any help he needs. “I’m leaving … The players have trained like animals. The best sign that with Tito, we’re in good hands” he concluded.