Real Madrid offer support as Barcelona announce Tito Vilanova will undergo chemotherapy

Real Madrid among those to offer support as it is announced manager will undergo surgery

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova plans to continue in his role after it was announced he will undergo surgery followed by six weeks of chemotherapy.

Earlier today, Barcelona suspended their scheduled media activities for the day amid reports concerning the health of the man who has guided Barcelona to their unbeaten league run this season.

Vilanova, who replaced Pep Guardiola this summer, underwent surgery on a salivary gland last November and as was rumoured earlier, the 44-year-old has suffered a relapse.

He will undergo surgery on his parotid gland tomorrow before six weeks of chemotherapy.

A statement on Barcelona's website explained: “An extension of the pathology has been detected in [Vilanova’s] parotid gland. The manager requires surgery which he will undergo this Thursday. He is expected to remain in hospital for three to four days.

Vilanova is expected to return to work after exiting hospital, although Barcelona admit this will depend upon the state of his health.

"After the surgery, Francesc ‘Tito’ Vilanova will undergo chemotherapy and rediation treatment for approximately six weeks. During this time, and depending on how well he recovers, Vilanova’s treatment may be compatible with his work life," read a statement.

Reports in Spain suggest assistant manager Jordi Roura will take charge of first-team affairs during Vilanova's absence, which is certain to include Saturday's La Liga fixture against Real Valladolid.

Vilanova was out of action for around three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

Even before confirmation of Vilanova's condition, support has flooded in, including from biggest rivals Real Madrid.

"Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family," astatement on the Madrid website read.

Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account: "Very sorry to hear the news."

Tennis star Rafael Nadal tweeted: "All my strength and support to Tito Vilanova! We are with you to overcome this new step."

Real Betis said on their official twitter feed: "@BetisOficial and their professionals offer their total support for the coach of FCBarcelona-es, Tito Vilanova."

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera was quoted as saying in AS: "I'm stunned. Is it true? Tito has shown himself to be a fighter, overcoming a very serious illness and I hope that it's going to be the same this time. He has all of my support and that of the club."

MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, tweeted: "#AnimoTito (encouragement for Tito)."

Vilanova was named as Guardiola's successor in April after it was confirmed that the Barca coach was stepping down to take time away from the game.

Despite huge pressure following in the footsteps of Guardiola, who delivered two Champions League titles and three La Ligas, former assistant Vilanova has been hugely impressive. Barcelona are currently nine points clear in La Liga, dropping just two points in 16 games. They have also progressed to the knock-out stages of the Champions League and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16 tie.

Barca's next game is away to Real Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday for what is their final fixture before the winter break.

Property
house + home
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Life and Style
Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
voices
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living