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SOCCER

Former Barça coach Tito Vilanova undergoes emergency surgery

Manager who led team to Liga win has been suffering from parotid gland cancer since 2011

Tito Vilanova.
Tito Vilanova.AP

Tito Vilanova, the former coach of Barcelona soccer club, underwent emergency surgery on Thursday in connection with a cancer he has been fighting for several years.

The 45-year-old’s health has deteriorated over the last week, forcing doctors at Barcelona’s Quirón Hospital to operate. Vilanova was diagnosed with cancer of the parotid gland – a salivary gland located behind the mouth – in November 2011, and the condition forced him to quit the club on July 19, 2013.

A former player with Barça B, with which he debuted in 1988, Vilanova played with several clubs until 2002, when he began his training career with the Barça youth squad. Later he was sporting director for Figueres and Terrassa, and in 2007 joined Barça B as assistant to then coach Pep Guardiola. From 2008 to 2012 he held the same post with Barça’s top team, then became its head coach during the 2012-2013 season. Under his guidance the team won the Liga championship.

Chronology

E.P.

November 22, 2011 Barça announces that Tito Vilanova, then Pep Guardiola's assistant, has cancer of the parotid gland and must undergo emergency surgery.

December 7, 2011 Two weeks after the operation, he returns to his coaching duties.

April 27, 2012 Barça appoints Vilanova first team manager.

May 12, 2012 The club's medical services announces that the coach is "cured and free of disease."

December 19, 2012 Barça announces a relapse and a day later Vilanova undergoes surgery at Vall d'Hebrón Hospital.

January 21, 2013 He travels to New York for treatment.

March 29, 2013 Vilanova returns as first team manager.

May 11, 2013 Barça wins Liga championship.

July 19, 2013 The club announces that Vilanova is stepping down.

April 24, 2014 Vilanova undergoes emergency surgery for parotid gland cancer at the Quirón Hospital in Barcelona.

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