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Soccer-Former Barca coach Vilanova dies of cancer, aged 45

Reuters

BARCELONA, April 25 (Reuters) - Former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has died following a battle with cancer that forced him to stand down at the end of last season, the club announced on Friday.

The 45-year-old took over at the Nou Camp ahead of the 2012-13 season having been Pep Guardiola's assistant during the most successful period in the club's history during which they won three out of four La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues in 2009 and 2011.

Barca went on to make the best-ever start to a La Liga season with 18 wins from 19 games but, in December 2012, Vilanova was diagnosed with cancer for the second time.

It meant that his assistant Jordi Roura was forced to take charge of the team on occasions when he was undergoing treatment.

At the end of the season Vilanova announced he was resigning to concentrate on his recovery from the illness.

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