Skip to main content

Barcelona boosted by Vilanova return

updated 1:57 PM EDT, Mon March 25, 2013
Tito Vilanova took over from Josep Guardiola as Barcelona coach in June 2012.
Tito Vilanova took over from Josep Guardiola as Barcelona coach in June 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova returning to Catalonia
  • Vilanova has been in New York for two months undergoing cancer treatment
  • Assistant coach Jordi Roura has been in temporary charge of the team
  • Vilanova took over from Josep Guardiola in June 2012

(CNN) -- Barcelona have been handed a boost ahead of next week's European Champions League quarterfinal tie against Paris Saint-Germain after the club confirmed coach Tito Vilanova is to return to Catalonia following cancer treatment.

Vilanova has been in New York for two months undergoing treatment, with assistant coach Jordi Roura assuming first team duties on a temporary basis.

A statement released by the four-time European champions said Vilanova, who was assistant to Josep Guardiola between 2008 and 2012, is heading home to Spain this week.

Read: Messi eyes milestone after Argentina success

Boateng: Racism in football must end
Becker: Ronaldo the tennis ace?
Keepy up challenge: Becker vs. Mendieta

"Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will be returning home this week after being in New York for the last two months," read a statement on the Spanish league leader's official website.

However the statement did not specify when Vilanova would return to the dugout for the four-time European champions.

"Tito traveled to New York on January 21 for treatment and this week he will be returning home to the Catalan capital.

"Jordi Roura has been in charge of the team over the last couple of months and has been in permanent contact with Vilanova to agree on important decisions.

"But Vilanova's place on the bench has always been kept for him and this week the team will welcome their boss back. Welcome home Tito."

Read: Draw dents Spain's qualification chances

Vilanova, who was assistant to former Barca coach Josep Guardiola between 2008 and 2012, has been undergoing treatment following a recurrence of cancer of his parotid gland, which is located in the mouth.

Bounced back

The 44-year-old Vilanova initially underwent surgery to remove a tumor in November 2011.

For the first time since Guardiola took over Barca in 2008, recently the Catalan team have faced questions over their performances in the time Vilanova has been away.

Barca were beaten over two legs by Real Madrid in a Copa del Rey semifinal, including a crushing 3-1 home defeat at the Nou Camp stadium, while Jose Mourinho's side also beat the Catalans in the Spanish league

Between the two cup ties with Real, Barca were also beaten 2-0 by AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

But Barca bounced back emphatically, steamrollering Milan in the second leg with a 4-0 triumph.

The first leg of Barca's last eight tie with PSG takes place in Paris on April 2, before the return fixture on April 10.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT