Barcelona: Former Spanish footballer and FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova died at the age of 45 due to cancer, local media reported.
Vilanova, who had first been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor of the throat in November 2011, stepped down as Barcelona coach in July 2013.
Following the announcement of Vilanova’s death, Barcelona said it would open an area of condolence in the main grandstand at its Nou Camp stadium.
“It will be open to anyone who wishes to express their sympathy and love for the late Tito Vilanova,” the club added.
“The club wishes to express its most heartfelt sympathy to his family, who are being joined in these moments of mourning by FC Barcelona members and fans all around the world, as well as the rest of the footballing and sporting world.”
Barcelona also revealed plans for a religious memorial ceremony in the coming days.
Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona club president said on this Twitter page: “Tito Vilanova was a wonderful person, and will never be forgotten at FC Barcelona. Thank you for everything you taught us. Rest in peace.”
Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas paid tribute on his Facebook page saying he met Vilanova 14 years ago, adding: “Thank you for always trusting me, to help me improve and overcome personal and professional obstacles.”