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Barca coach Vilanova steps down due to illness (Reuters)

Barcelona's coach Tito Vilanova listens to a question during a news conference after a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, in this July 16, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino/Files

By Elena Gyldenkerne BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona’s preparations for next season were thrown off course on Friday when the Spanish champions unexpectedly announced coach Tito Vilanova was stepping down due to ill health. At a hastily-arranged news conference attended by shell-shocked members of the first team squad, including World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Barca president Sandro Rosell said Vilanova would be having treatment that meant he will be unable to continue in his current role. …


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