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Former Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has passed away aged 45

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Former Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has passed away aged 45 after losing his battle with throat cancer. He was taken to the emergency room on Thursday for surgery after being admitted last week when his health worsened. Vilanova had been battling cancer of the throat since November 2011 and Radio Nacional says there have been gastric complications. The Catalan giants tweeted the news: 'The FC Barcelona is in immense mourning. Tito Vilanova has died at the age of 45. May he rest in peace.' He had been visited at the Chiron Clinic by friends and family. The manager was forced to step down in the summer of 2013 after suffering a relapse of the disease. His team won the title last season but Jordi Roura coached Barcelona for two months when Vilanova travelled to New York for cancer treatment. The 45-year-old was replaced by Tata Martino last summer. Barca president Jose Maria Bartomeu tweeted: ‘Tito Vilanova was a wonderful person, and will never be forgotten at FC Barcelona. Thank you for everything you taught us. Rest in peace’. Vilanova had a tumour removed from his parotid gland in November 2011, being treated by chemotherapy and radio therapy. He was appointed Barcelona manager at the end of the 2011-12 campaign. Vilanova's Blaugrana side equaled the record points total set by Real Madrid the season before, reaching 100. He had become assistant manager to Pep Guardiola in 2008.

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