Club President Jose Maria Bartomeu/ PHOTO: GERMAN PARGA - FCB

Club  Josep Maria Bartomeu expressed his sorrow and sadness soon after the news of Tito Vilanova’s passing away broke this afternoon, explaining: “it’s a very sad day. We knew it could happen and it’s been a long illness, but it has left us all feeling very empty”.

Bartomeu defined the ex-first team coach as: “a great man and a reference point for the Club and its supporters. He’s been an example to us and we have all learnt a lot from him as a person. We will miss him terribly”. The President went on to recall Tito’s “strength, vitality and effort” and of his: “active participation in this glorious era for our Club”.

Summing up, Josep Maria Bartomeu explained: “a man has died, but we have gained a touchstone, a great figure”.

Zubizarreta: “a well rounded man”

Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta also spoke of his shock at the news: “it’s a very hard day for us. We have lost a good man, a well rounded man who was a loving father and husband, a great friend to his friends. We have lost a true Barça man who knew this Club from the old Masia to the changing rooms, from the Barça B manager’s job in the third division to becoming the first team coach”

 “He looked his illness straight in the eyes – as he did everything he undertook. A marvellous man has passed away and now we have to give his family all our support”.