Tito Vilanova | PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ

Tito Vilanova will step down as manager of FC Barcelona. President Sandro Rosell, who was accompanied by Andoni Zubizarreta, announced the news this Friday.

Vilanova will not be able to perform his managerial duties as he undergoes further treatment for his illness. During this afternoon’s press conference, Mr Rosell announced: “After evaluating the results from the routine check-ups, which Tito Vilanova underwent this week, he was presented with the option to continue treatment to control his illness which will make it impossible to continue his responsibilities as the first team manager of the senior side.”

The FC Barcelona president then went on to appeal for privacy as Vilanova continues treatment: “I want to ask everyone, especially the press, on account of Tito and his family, to respect his right to privacy through this process, which starts today.”

Tito Vilanova

On 22 November of 2011 FC Barcelona announced that Tito Vilanova had a tumor on his parotid gland and he underwent emergency surgery. Six days later he was discharged from Vall d’Hebron Hospital and he was back in training two weeks later.

Nearly one year later, on 19 December 2012, Vilanova suffered a relapse as a small ganglion cyst was detected. We underwent additional surgery at Vall d’Hebron Hospital and was discharged two days later. On 6 January of 2013 he made his return to the Barça bench, against Espanyol. After the match the manager travelled to New York City for additional treatment.

He returned to manage the team against Málaga on January 13 and then he returned to the United States, where he remained for two months. On 29 March of 2013 he returned to Barcelona to manage the team and he was on the bench on 2 April for the Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain.

Puyol leads his team-mates

The first team captain, Carles Puyol, led his team-mates into the conference room for Sandro Rosell and Andoni Zubizarreta’s press conference. The directors Josep Maria Bartomeu, Susana Monje, Jordi Moix, Silvio Elias and Ramon Cierco also attended the press conference.

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