Barcelona Keep It In House, Give Manager’s Job To Pep’s No.2 Tito Vilanova

Alan Duffy

27th, April 2012


By Alan Duffy

Sam Allardyce, you can stand down now – Barcelona have chosen their new coach. However, rather than hang on for one of the world’s big-name bosses, the Catalans have decided to look closer to home, naming Guardiola’s second-in-command, Francesc ‘Tito’ Vilanova  as their new manager.

So just who is Tito? Well, the 42-year-old grew up with Guardiola at La Masia. However, while Pep went to forge a legendary career with the Barcelona senior side, Catalan-born Vilanova failed to make the grade, instead making a living for himself as a journeyman pro with some of Spain’s less glamorous sides.

After retiring in 2002, Vilanova got some experience on the coaching side of things in the lower leagues before eventually returning to the Nou Camp to assist Guardiola with the Barcelona B team. Then, when Pep took over from Frank Rikjaard with the big boys, Vilanova went along with him.  And now, he’s the man in the hot seat.

Infamously, Vilanova was poked in the eye by Jose Mourinho during a Barca v Real Spanish Super Cup game.  So don’t expect any softening of attitudes in future Clásicos.

While the decision to appoint Vilanova has come as something of a surprise, Barca Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta is confident the new man will succeed. He said:

“Tito has been working here with us, so why not Tito? He puts in all the hours until he sleeps and he has the personality that we need to lift us. He’s different to Pep, but Tito’s the one.”

“We’ve always looked in house. We have Tito – it’s simple. We needn’t go out on the market.”

To say that Vilanova will be under pressure to match Guardiola’s huge success is surely an understatement. It’s like Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy all over again.

Posted in Barcelona, Managers

Share this article: Email


  1. Paul says:

    “To say that Vilanova will be under pressure to match Guardiola’s huge success is surely an understatement. It’s like Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy all over again.” -Marry me Alan

  2. plops says:

    I’ve only just noticed there’s an “Alan”! I thought everything was done by this “Chris” fellow. “Amazing”.

  3. gamblino says:

    There’s always an “Alan”.

  4. knuckle says:

    Xavi and Puyol close to retirement, Pep quitting, Cesc being on the team, yep I see Barca now taking a back seat after these fantastic years. Hey had to happen some time, everything that goes up must come down.

  5. Papi says:

    @knuckle – Lol!

    This man will inherit a world class squad that virtually runs itself, and in the event that the club does well, as is expected, he’ll be labeled the greatest, also.

  6. Mr Sensible says:

    Is it a surprise, the Barca philosophy is more important than anything so getting a Catalan who grew up in La Masia and has been there with the team for the past 4 years is ideal.

    Worked for Liverpool with Paisley overtaking Shankly and Capello overtaking Sacchi, so I could see it working here too. From friends in Barcelona it sounds like they have an abundance of great young talent too. They will still be the team to beat, they’ve got a little fella called Messi who’s pretty good.

  7. werderbremen_rulez says:

    I am sure they’ll hire Löw once things turn badly…

    You heard from me first ;)

  8. dc says:

    I really don’t understand the doubters–

    To say that Xavi and Puyi retiring and Tito taking over would hurt the team is ridiculous. The EXACT same thing was said about Pep when he inherited the current Barcelona team in 2008. Look at the players who were virtual newcomers and have become integral since, some even world class: like Pique, Alves, Pedro, Busquets, Thiago, Cuenca, Tello and Cesc, David Villa, Alexis and Messi to an extent.

    Now Barcelona has those 3 young guns (Thiago, Cuenca, Tello) coming through this season, and in the future it will be them, Fontás, Musniesa, Sergio Garcia, Deulofeu, Montoya, possibly Jordi Alba, a former youth player, in the summer if reports are correct, ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC.

    Tito understands this process and the future talents look good– I don’t see Barcelona going anywhere “down” in the future. Change and unpredictability are important in any succesful long-term franchise, look at SAF

  9. joek says:


  10. Tom Jones says:

    Why does he get called Tito? Is he a communist dictator?

  11. RULAS says:

    @Tom Jones

    Are you a welsh pop star?…

  12. Anabelle says:

    Tito Vilanova is just keeping the seat warm while Guardiola goes on sabbatical.

  13. chris says:

    glad they kept it in house. but i am hoping for a shock return from Pep in a year. really can NOT see him anywhere else. only other option would be Spanish National Team.

  14. Bruno says:

    Pep will have a spell for Italy. Fan’s still remember and love him there.

  15. Bruno says:

    Maybe Inter after Stramarcioni

Leave a Reply