SoccerSunday, April 27, 2014
Thousands gather in memory of Vilanova
BARCELONA, Spain — Thousands of Barcelona’s fans gathered along with players yesterday to pay their respects to Tito Vilanova at Camp Nou, a day after the former coach died following a battle with throat cancer.
Condolences continued to pour in from across Europe, with Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola saying he would never forget his former coaching partner at Barcelona, who died on Friday at the age of 45. “We experienced a lot together,” Guardiola said. “We lost together and won together. This is a very difficult situation. The sadness will accompany me forever.”
The day began with Barcelona’s players signing a book of condolence and silently remembering Vilanova.
The club then opened the temporary memorial site to the public. It said almost 10,000 mourners had arrived to pay their respects by 5pm (local time). The attendees included Artur Mas, Catalonia’s regional president, and the club president of crosstown rival Espanyol, Joan Collet.
Barcelona has declared three days of mourning for Vilanova, whose funeral will be tomorrow in Barcelona’s cathedral.