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Vilanova to Stay on as Barca Coach Despite Health Issues

  • La Marca, Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:11 PM

Tito Vilanova will remain Barcelona coach, the club announced on Wednesday, following news that the 44-year-old had suffered a relapse of a cancerous tumor on his parotid gland, for which he was operated on in November 2011, five months before being named Barca first team coach. Speaking at a press conference regarding the incident, President Sandro Rosell and Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta said that assistant coach Jordi Roura would take over for Vilanova in the short-term as he recovers from emergency surgery, which the club said was successfully completed on Thursday.

"The important thing is that he recovers,” Rosell said. “Tito is very strong and we’re certain he'll be back.” Regarding the speculation that former coach Pep Guardiola might return in Vilanova’s absence, Zubizarreta said, "We haven't spoken to Guardiola at any point. Tito is the first-team coach and things will remain that way. Roura will take charge against Valladolid. Sometimes people speculate about anything." He added that he expects Vilanova to be away “for a few weeks."

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