The respectful silence, only broken by the classical music playing in the background and the sound of the cameras from the gathered press, accompanied President Josep Maria Bartomeu, vice-president Jordi Mestre, first team captains Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Víctor Valdés and Andrés Iniesta, football director Andoni Zubizarreta, manager Tata Martino and the rest of the first team players and the Board of Directors as they congregated to bid farewell to the late Tito Vilanova.

The respectful silence, only broken by the classical music playing in the background and the sound of the cameras from the gathered press, accompanied President Josep Maria Bartomeu, vice-president Jordi Mestre, first team captains Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Víctor Valdés and Andrés Iniesta, football director Andoni Zubizarreta, manager Tata Martino and the rest of the first team players and the Board of Directors as they congregated to bid farewell to the late Tito Vilanova.

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Before visiting Tito’s commemorative area, the group signed the book in remembrance of the late manager. Their messages highlight the impact Tito had on their lives, what they learned from him, and how much they’ll miss him in the future.

First team mourns

The players and directors were visibly in pain, especially Andoni Zubizarreta, the director who offered the Barça bench to Tito, stood in respectful silence in front of a mural which depicts the ex-manager in a completive state standing on the sideline of the pitch as he analyses his men…

“It’s a complicated moment for the world of football, for the first team, for the people that knew Tito. It’s a hard moment, we send all of our strength to his family and friends. A great person has left us, an example, dedicated… it’s a terrible blow. We’re very affected by this loss, we’ve been fighting this for two and a half years. He was an example for all of us, he fought all the way until the end,” said captain Carles Puyol.

Meanwhile, Club members, Barça fans and fans from other teams lined up to pay tribute to the manager that conquered the league title with a haul of 100 points. In addition, a large black ribbon was placed in the middle of the pitch of the Camp Nou in remembrance of the man who accompanied Pep Guardiola prior to taking over the Barça bench.

Bartomeu: “These days are for reflection”

This Saturday, a total of 20,802 individuals paid tribute to the manager at the Camp Nou, among them were personalities from the world of sport, politics and civil society. President Bartomeu said: “This is a very sad day, a very hard day. It’s a day for Barcelonistas, for the people that love football, for people that have family members like Tito who suffer illnesses. These are days to remember, to reflect, days to understand that everything is ephemeral and that we have to live and do things as best we can, to live well with each other, always.”