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Former Barcelona coach Vilanova dies at 45

AP - Sports

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Former Barcelona soccer coach Tito Vilanova has died of throat cancer. He was 45.

Vilanova succeeded Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and won the Spanish league title in his only season in charge.

He had been fighting a recurring tumor in a saliva gland. He was admitted to a hospital in Barcelona last week and died Friday.

Vilanova first became ill in November 2011 while still an assistant to Guardiola. He took a leave of absence after surgery. Vilanova returned and took over from Guardiola the next season, when he led Barcelona to the Spanish league title with a record-tying 100 points.

Vilanova is survived by his wife, Montse Chaure, and two children. His son Adrian is currently in Barcelona's youth academy.

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