Barcelona feud: Tito Vilanova says Pep Guardiola 'wasn't there for me'
The former manager defended himself against accusations he was unsupportive to his successor
Tuesday 16 July 2013
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova today claimed former colleague Pep Guardiola “wasn't there for me” during his rehabilitation from cancer.
In the latest chapter of what has turned into an unseemly row between Guardiola and the club he served with such distinction as coach and player, Vilanova admitted he had been disappointed by the new Bayern Munich coach's conduct.
Vilanova underwent treatment for salivary gland cancer earlier this year in New York, where Guardiola was taking a year-long sabbatical after leaving the Nou Camp hot-seat at the end of the 2011/12 season.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell had previously suggested Guardiola had made little attempt to visit Vilanova in the United States, claims furiously contested by Guardiola, who then claimed the club were using the issue to "cause him damage".
Rosell last night attempted to diffuse the row by calling Guardiola "the best manager in the history of the club" but Vilanova himself re-opened it today.
He said at a press conference: "People aren't interested in personal matters, but Pep got it wrong and I'm surprised by his comments.
"No-one on the board used my illness to attack him. The club tried to help me as much as possible.
"He visited me once in New York when I'd just arrived, but during my recovery from the operation... I was there for two months and I didn't see him.
"He's my friend and I needed him, but he wasn't there for me. I would have done things differently."
Vilanova disputed the suggestion the pair had fallen out after he succeeded him as Barca boss.
"I talked to him and told him what I intended to do. It was him who encouraged me to become Barca coach," he said.
"I've known him for 28 years. He's my friend. I've won titles with him and we had amazing times together."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile