Vilanova`s death casts more misery on Barca
Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: Barcelona were dealt with fresh blows after former manager, Tito Vilanova, died of cancer on Friday. The season has gone on a terrible note for the Catalans who have had a trophy-less campaign blended with several misfortunes. Vilanova`s death adds to their agony and the gloom at Nou Camp seems to widen everyday. Tito Vilanova was a greatly admired and respected figure, not just at Barcelona but throughout Spanish football, and his death will cast a sad shadow over the remainder of the season.
The former manager who left Barcelona last season for his cancer treatment, had won the La Liga title with a record 100 points. Barca had finished 15 points above Real Madrid under him. He assisted current Bayern manager, Pep Guardiola during the latter`s managerial role at Barca. It is indeed a sad day for footballing world, with tributes and condolences poring in from all corners.
The atmosphere at Nou Camp isn`t somewhere one wants to be right now. Barca are third in the La Liga standings behind Madrid duo, Atletico and Real. They had suffered a knock-out punch by Gareth Bale in the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid. In the Champions League, Diego Simeone`s, Atletico Madrid handed them a first quarter-final defeat in seven years.
Other issues have revolved around Neymar`s transfer handling saga that saw former Barca president, Sandro Rossel resign from his post. Lionel Messi`s, Spanish tax fraud case is still running in court. The Catalan club had also been given a transfer ban for two windows for breaching rules on signing minors from overseas. But the FIFA, later on, announced the ban will be suspended until the disciplinary process is completed. There have also been injuries for crucial players that have halted their season.
Tito Vilanova`s death was the last thing Barca would have thought with a catastrophic season they have undergone. There is a shock all around. Barca will play against Villareal in the La Liga on Monday and will hope to put all the difficulties behind them to finish strongly this season.