Vilanova steps down as Barcelona coach after cancer relapse
July 19, 2013 -- Updated 2004 GMT (0404 HKT)
Tito Vilanova took over from Josep Guardiola as Barcelona coach in June 2012.
- Tito Vilanova steps down as coach of Spanish champions Barcelona
- Club cited health reasons as the 45-year-old battles cancer
- Vilanova succeeded Pep Guardiola in June 2012
- First diagnosed with cancerous throat tumor in 2011
(CNN) -- Tito Vilanova stepped down as Barcelona coach Friday after the Spanish champions revealed he needed fresh treatment in his battle against cancer.
Club president Sandro Rosell and sporting director Andoni Zubizaretta made the announcement at a specially convened media conference at the Nou Camp.
The 44-year-old Vilanova led the Catalan giants to the La Liga title last season after succeeding Pep Guardiola in June 2012.
Read: Barcelona wrap up La Liga title
Bayern Munich puts a hurt on Barcelona
Pele: Mourinho is 'good for Chelsea'
Messi claims fourth Ballon d'Or
But he spent nearly three months on the sidelines after having surgery followed by a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in New York.
Vilanova, a long-time assistant to Guardiola, had first been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor of the throat in November 2011, but after having initial treatment returned to work in less than three weeks.
He was appointed to the top job when his old boss quit and under his charge Barcelona made a storming start to last season.
After his return in March following his treatment, they wrapped up the domestic title, but suffered a semifinal humiliation to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals.
Read: Barcelona crushed by Bayern in semifinals
Vilanova had been preparing his squad for the new season, but following news of his fresh health problems, the club announced their trip to Poland for a friendly with Lechia Gdansk Saturday had been canceled.
Barcelona said assistant coach Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia would take temporary charge and Rosell said a new coach would be appointed "probably early next week."
Vilanova's battle with cancer has occurred in tandem with Eric Abidal, the French international defender, who was diagnosed with a liver tumor.
When Barcelona clinched their 22nd La Liga title last season, club captain Carles Puyol stepped aside to allow Vilanova and Abidal to initially lift the trophy in recognition of their brave battles against illness.
Abidal left the Catalan giants at the end of the season when he was not offered a fresh playing contract.
Several Barcelona players, including Argentina star Lionel Messi and Puyol, attended Friday's announcement of Vilanova's latest setback.
Part of complete coverage on
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is provoking huge media interest and the hungry attention of Europe's top clubs.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
Today's five most popular stories