Reaction to the death of Tito Vilanova

25 April 2014 06:47

A selection of the tributes paid to former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who died on Friday after a long battle with cancer aged 45.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona forward)

"A difficult person to forget. We will always remember him. All my love to Tito's family."

Victor Valdes (Barcelona goalkeeper)

"Tito Vilanova is one of the best coaches I have had in my career. All my love and support to all his family."

Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona midfielder)

"Tito, thank you for all you have given football and Barca. All Barca fans will be eternally grateful to you.

"Personally, I met you 14 years ago and I can say that there are few like you. Thank you for having believed in me, for helping me improve and overcome professional and personal obstacles.

"All my condolences are with Montse, Carlota and Adria and the rest of your family and friends. There will always be a place for you in our hearts. Rest in peace.

Josep Maria Bartomeu (Barcelona president)

"Tito Vilanova was a wonderful person, and will never be forgotten at FC Barcelona. Thank you for everything you taught us. Rest in peace."

Jose Mourinho (Chelsea manager)

"On behalf of everybody at Chelsea Football Club I send my deepest condolences at this most difficult time."

Eric Abidal (Monaco and former Barcelona defender)

"For all that we lived through together I will always remember you friend. Rest in peace. Thank you for the fight. My love and support to your family."

Vicente del Bosque (Spain manager)

"It is a disaster. A man aged just 45 has left us with half his life in front of him. I had the chance to talk to him, including during his illness and he was a warm person that was always willing to help."

Rafael Nadal (World number one tennis player)

"To lose is not a drama. What has happened to Tito Vilanova is. We are left with his example and I send my support to his family."

Florentino Perez (President of Real Madrid)

"I want to express my profound sadness for the death of Tito Vilanova and transmit, in the name of Real Madrid, our condolences, support and love to his family, to FC Barcelona and especially to his wife and children.

"Today is a day of enormous sadness for all football fans and recognition for his personal and professional life."

Pepe Reina (Spain and Napoli goalkeeper)

"Hopefully one day there will be a cure for the scourge that is cancer, which has left another fighter on ts way. RIP Tito. My profound condolences to his family and friends."

Michel Platini (President of UEFA)

"I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Tito Vilanova's passing.

"He was a great person and a fantastic coach who will always be remembered for his work at FC Barcelona. I send my condolences to Tito's family and to the club."

Source: AFP