Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will return to Spain this week after two months of cancer treatment in New York, the La Liga club said today.
“Tito Vilanova will this week leave the city of skyscrapers to return to the Catalan capital,” Barca said in a statement on their website. The club did not say whether he would be well enough to return to work.
The 44-year-old former Barca player needed a second round of surgery in December following an initial operation to remove a tumour from his saliva glands in November 2011.
Barca stuttered in Vilanova’s absence and they were eliminated from the Copa Del Rey and beaten in the league by arch-rivals Real Madrid.
However, they managed a stirring comeback against AC Milan to secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals and are 13 points clear of Real in La Liga with 10 games left.
Vilanova’s assistant Jordi Roura, who took charge when he was in New York, visited his boss last week as Barcelona plan for the summer. On the agenda I am sure where the new contract offers for Sergio Busquets and Gerard Deulofeu. Plus Tito has to decide on the future of David Villa and Alexis Sanchez, and Barca will need a goalkeeper to replace Victor Valdes.
But before all that, Barcelona have a massive Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain in just over a week. Will Tito make an emotional return to the Barcelona sidelines for that game?