Tito Vilanova thanked Barcelona, its players and fans for “five wonderful years” on Saturday, a day after the club announced he was stepping down to fight his recurring throat cancer.
Vilanova wrote in an open letter on Barcelona’s website “the moment has arrived to face a change in my professional life and dedicate my energies and efforts to following a treatment for an illness doctors diagnosed a year and a half ago.”
Barcelona said it will name his successor next week with the Spanish league set to start on August 17.
“These are difficult times for me and my family,” he wrote. “Now that I am stepping down as Barcelona’s coach I hope to have the tranquility and privacy that I and my family need so much at this moment.”
Vilanova said his doctors told him the new treatment was incompatible with the “responsibilities of the first team coach.” He said he would, however, continue “working for this club that I love so much in other areas of sports operations” without specifying his role.