Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova on Tuesday told reporters that Pep Guardiola “got it wrong” by only visiting him once during his cancer treatment in New York City last season. Guardiola, the former Barca coach, was living in New York City with his family during his time off from coaching. Earlier this summer, Barca PresidentSandro Rosell criticized Guardiola for only visiting his former assistant coach once during his time in the hospital.
Speaking at his first preseason press conference, Vilanova said: “People aren’t interested in personal matters, but Pep got it wrong and I’m surprised by his comments. No one on the board used my illness to attack him. The club tried to help me as much as possible. He visited me once in New York when I’d just arrived, but during my recovery from the operation I was there for two months and I didn’t see him. He’s my friend and I needed him, but he wasn’t there for me. I would have done things differently. I won’t say anything else about this”.
During the wide-ranging press conference, Vilanova added that he was excited about the prospect of new signing Neymar and four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messilinking up. “I’m very happy about his arrival. There won’t be a problem having him and Messi,” he said. “They play in complementary positions. Leo is the best in the world, while Neymar is an amazing promise for the future. If the opposition are tracking one, it will leave the other free. If Neymar had gone somewhere else people would be talking about an amazing signing, but here people just talk about whether he will play well with Messi or not."