La Liga

Vilanova to make return to Spain

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will return to Spain after undergoing cancer treatment.
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Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will return to Spain this week after two months in New York undergoing cancer treatment, the Catalan club have announced.

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Vilanova travelled to America on January 21 for chemotherapy and radiotherapy following surgery on his parotid gland in December. The 44-year-old had suffered a relapse after first having a tumour removed from his throat in November 2011.

It was expected Vilanova would be returning home by the end of this month and Barca have confirmed that is the case, although they have not said when he is expected to resume first-team duties.

A statement on the club's official website read: "The Barcelona coach, Tito Vilanova, will leave the city of skyscrapers this week to return to the Catalan capital.

"Jordi Roura has been in charge of the team over the last couple of months and has been in permanent contact with Vilanova to agree on important decisions, but Vilanova's place on the bench has always been kept for him and this week the team will welcome their boss back. Welcome home Tito.''

While Vilanova has been in the United States, Barca have had mixed results, winning eight of their 13 competitive matches while losing three.

They were knocked out of the Copa del Rey semi-finals by Real Madrid but progressed through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit against AC Milan with a 4-0 triumph in the return meeting at the Nou Camp.

In La Liga they are 13 points clear of Madrid ahead of this weekend's trip to Celta Vigo.

Next Tuesday they face Paris St Germain in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals in France.

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