Barca coach back in training

2013-01-02 21:04
Tito Vilanova (AFP)
Madrid - Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has returned to work sooner than expected and oversaw training on Wednesday for the first time since a throat operation two weeks ago.

The 44-year-old needed a second round of surgery following an operation to remove a tumour from his saliva glands in November 2011 and assistant coach Jordi Roura had stepped in while Vilanova was out of action.

He wasn't expected to return until mid-January but visited the players in the morning and then took charge of the afternoon training session.

Many of the squad were absent as they are playing for Catalonia in a friendly against Nigeria on Wednesday evening.

"The coach, operated on on Dec. 20, was the main protagonist at this afternoon's training," the La Liga leaders said on their website (

Midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song had shaken off minor injuries sustained at the end of December and rejoined their team-mates, while Lionel Messi and Adriano had trained later due to delays to their flights back after the Christmas and New Year break, the club added.

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes had pulled out of the Nigeria match because of a foot problem and trained separately from the rest of the squad.

Vilanova began a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy after his release from hospital on December 22 and club president Sandro Rosell said he would alternate work with his treatment.

He was sidelined for around three weeks after the surgery in 2011 before returning to his job as assistant to Pep Guardiola and then taking over when his close friend stepped down at the end of last season.

Under Vilanova's stewardship, Barca have made a record-breaking unbeaten start to their league campaign and have a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Their opening match of 2013 is at home to city rivals Espanyol on Sunday. 

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  tito vilanova  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.