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 scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees