Tito Vilanova is the current head coach of FC Barcelona. Previously, he was assistant to Pep Guardiola, who he replaced in the summer of 2012. At age 44, he is one of the younger managers in the Spanish Primera Liga. Before going into coaching, Tito Vilanova had a modest career as a midfield player, being released by Barcelona and playing for several lower level clubs, making only a handful of appearances at the top level.
His coaching career didn’t begin with the greatest of fanfare, as Tito Vilanova suffered relegation with his first side, FC Palafrugell. He later worked alongside Guardiola with the Barcelona B team and they were promoted to the first team together in 2008. Success was almost instantaneous, as the team won a record six trophies in that first season, including the league title and the UEFA Champions League.
More success followed, as Barcelona swept aside all challengers over the next few years to record three consecutive league wins and another Champions League among other trophies. The team also won a lot of fans by playing an attractive, short-passing style of football known as ‘tika taka’. Much of the credit for this style is given to Tito Vilanova. The players also scaled new heights, with the Spanish national team having claimed two European Championships and one World Cup in a side made up largely of Barcelona players, including Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Tito Vilanova is also credited with guiding the career of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, having helped nurture him as a young player. Messi is now hailed as the world’s best player and perhaps the best who ever lived.
Since taking full charge of the team, Tito Vilanova has recorded the most successful start to a season in league history, with eighteen wins from a possible nineteen and the team is currently twelve points clear of the second-placed team, Atletico Madrid. Unfortunately, Tito Vilanova suffers from glandular cancer, which has led to him having to take time off. He is now back in the dug-out and hoping to guide his team to yet another league title.