Barca's players gather in memory of Vilanova

The Associated Press
Barca's players gather in memory of Vilanova
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Barcelona football club fan memorabilia is displayed at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 26, 2014, as tributes are placed for FC Barcelona soccer former coach, late Tito Vilanova. The Barcelona club announced on their web page Friday April 25, 2014, that Vilanova has died Friday following a long battle with throat cancer. He was 45.(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Barcelona's players and executives have gathered to pay their respects to Tito Vilanova at Camp Nou, a day after their former coach died from throat cancer.

Barcelona's players signed a book of condolence and held a moment of silence for Vilanova, who died Friday at 45.

Team captain Carles Puyol says ''a great, complete person, an example, has left us. This is a difficult blow.''

Vilanova's illness forced him to step down as Barcelona coach last summer after winning the 2012-13 Spanish league title. He had served as Pep Guardiola's assistant during a four-year run when the team won 14 titles.

A memorial site for Vilanova has been set up at the stadium and is open for fans this weekend.

The funeral is Monday at Barcelona's cathedral.