Tuesday March 5 2013
‘Vilanova more important than titles’

Barcelona President Sandro Rosell has made clear that the club will wait for Tito Vilanova to return, even if it costs them ‘every single title’.

The Coach has been absent from affairs since mid-winter, as he is in New York receiving treatment as part of his second fight against throat cancer. Due back by the end of March, the team have recently suffered a mini-slump in results.

Where they are 2-0 down in their Champions League Last 16 meeting with Milan, the Catalans have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Real Madrid and lost again to their Clasico rivals in the weekend’s League fixture.

Even so, Rosell took time at a Press conference this week to reiterate their preparedness to wait for Vilanova’s return.

“I want to make it very clear that the board stands behind Tito Vilanova while he’s away, we’ll wait for him as long as we have to,” Rosell told reporters.

 “Tito is doing well and he’s very encouraged, considering he’s undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“He is hoping for the process to finish, which is due at the end of March, he is eager to return, he’s counting down the days.

“The other day he told me he was happy because he could start the countdown as he is over half of the process and he has less than 50% of it left. That is very good for his state of mind. He wants to come back and we want him back.

“His recovery is our priority and I’d consider this season a success if he fully recovers from his illness. He will not leave even if it costs us every single title.”

Assistant Coach Jordi Roura has been working with the team in Vilanova’s absence.

“For me he’s a hero. We have to thank him for the responsibility he’s taken on, because it’s something that was unexpected, and also the coaching staff and the players, who are carrying a heavy burden.

“Barca’s form? Nothing is on fire, the team have gone for many days without a leader, which has seen freshness and tension dip.”

Rosell was also asked of continued reports linking the club with Santos star Neymar.

“It’s true that our team of observers and managers like this player. He’s on the list of possible future signings.”

Football Italia website