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22.06.2008 15:36

Guardiola’s right-hand man

Jaume Marcet

Tito Vilanova will continue as Pep Guardiola’s assistant. After winning promotion with the reserves, they will now be in charge of the first team.

The Guardiola-Vilanova tandem, which has worked so well this season with Barça B, is to be repeated with the first team. Guardiola is the boss and has the last word, but Tito Vilanova, a great student of football, also plays a key role and is the ideal partner for Guardiola. Both share a passion for the sport and a constant search for excellence.

Thanks for his number two

BANQUETA.pngJust a few hours after Barça B got back into the Second Division B and during the celebratory dinner at the Camp Nou, Guardiola praised the work his players had done but had a special word for Tito Vilanova: “Thanks, Tito, because last summer you turned down offers to move up a division to be with me.” Guardiola well recalled that a year ago Vilanova was director of football at Terrassa (Second Division B), and even though he had offers to coach in that division he decided to stay with Barça B.

Key in signings

Vilanova’s experience in these divisions was key when it came to making the right choices about new players. His extensive knowledge of the Second Divisions A and B and the Third Division was crucial in suggesting signings of players who have been extremely successful with Barça B. Guardiola could calmly accept the offer to coach Barça B in part because he would have an experienced coach alongside him who was ready to help out with anything.

Field coach

guardiola_banqueta.jpgVilanova admitted at the start of the season that Guardiola lacked experience as he had yet to coach a side, but added that he was “already a coach when he was a player.” Vilanova had no doubts about Guardiola’s knowledge and drive to succeed and therefore didn’t think twice about coming back to the club: “I coached youth football at Barça in 2002/03 and I worked with players like Piqué, Messi, Cesc and Vázquez, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Guardiola’s right-hand man
Together at La Masia
Both Tito Vilanova and Guardiola went through La Masia before becoming professional players. Their friendship dates back to a time when both were dreaming of making it with Barça. Guardiola’s dream came true, while Tito got to play with Barça Atlètic but his First Division appearances were made as a Celta de Vigo player.

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