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Tito Vilanova Passes Away

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After over a three-year period Tito Vilanova bravely fought parotid gland cancer but on Friday that fight came to an end as the former Barcelona coach passed away at the age of 45. FC Barcelona came out with an official message on Twitter.

That was then followed up by a report by Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo announcing the death of the Bellcaire d'Emporà after having been admitted to the Hospital Quirón in Barcelona last Friday due to gastric complications and had to undergo surgery. That procedure could do little as his condition had worsened. According to the Catalan daily, the former Barcelona coach passed away around 6pm local time.

After official news of the coach's passing, the outpouring of affection came from fans from all over the world as well as several individuals began to express their grief and condolences. Players like Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso:

Even Madrid daily Marca came out to express their condolences in a heartfelt photo.

Jose Mourinho, after having been criticized for not making a comment about Vilanova earlier in the day, also came out to express his sadness over the passing of a former rival that he had some history with in the past.

Here are some more individuals that took a moment to pay their respects.

My condolences to Tito Vilanova and his family. You have been an example in your fight. RIP.

For all that we lived together, I will always remember you, friend. RIP. Thanks for the fight. My affection and support to his family. Abi22

Tito was one of the main architects in the emergence of one of the greatest football teams to have ever graced a football pitch. As assistant to Pep Guardiola beginning with his time as Barça B coach and then taking over the first team, this duo led FC Barcelona through the most successful runs in club history. Tito would then become the head coach of Barcelona in 2012 when Pep Guardiola stepped down from his post.

Unfortunately, for Tito, he would not be able to coach the entire season and would have to head to New York for further cancer treatment after having been diagnosed back in 2011. As coach, he helped Barcelona win the league title, thus becoming the seventh coach to do so in their first season in club history. He was also the second coach in league history to win a league title with his squad earning 100 points.

At the end of the season, he decided to step down from his position to continue a more intense treatment for his condition and would be eventually replaced by Gerardo Martino.

Football has truly lost one of the great minds of the modern game, Tito Vilanova.

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