Vilanova steps down as Barcelona boss

Barcelona have confirmed that Tito Vilanova will step down as manager of the club due to ill health.

The defending La Liga champions have also said that a new appointment will be made next week.

The decision was announced in a press conference on Friday evening attended by Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta, as well as the first team squad.

Rosell confirmed: "Tito Vilanova will continue treatment of his illness, he will not be able to continue as Barcelona's head manager.

"This is a very difficult blow to the club, but we have overcome many difficult setbacks."

Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola as manager of the Catalan club in June 2012. Previously he had been his assistant for four years.

Last year, he guided Barcelona to the La Liga title and the semi-finals of the Champions League.

They are 1.66 to retain their Spanish crown, while they are 4.50 to win Europe's premier competition.

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