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 By PA Sport

Guardiola mourns Tito Vilanova death

Pep Guardiola has said the death of his former assistant at Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, will "stay with him forever."

Hunter: A good man, gone too soon
• Tributes to Tito Vilanova

Guardiola's Bayern Munich team wore black armbands during Saturday's 5-2 Bundesliga win over Werder Bremen, with the 71,000 fans in the Allianz Arena observing a minute's silence before kick-off.

Vilanova, who spent four years as Guardiola's assistant at the Camp Nou before taking over as coach, died of throat cancer at the age of 45 on Friday.

Guardiola told Bayern’s official website: "We went through a lot together, we lost together, we won together. It is a difficult situation. This tragedy will stay with me forever."

On Saturday, more than 20,000 of Barcelona's fans gathered along with players to pay their respects to Vilanova at the Nou Camp. The day began with Barcelona's players signing a book of condolence and silently remembering Vilanova.

The club then opened the temporary memorial site to the public. It said 20,802 mourners came to pay their respects. The attendees included Artur Mas, Catalonia's regional president, and the club president of crosstown rival Espanyol, Joan Collet.

"It"s a difficult moment,'" Barcelona captain Carles Puyol said. "We send our support to his family and friends. A great, complete person, an example, has left us. This is a difficult blow.''

Bayern Munich earlier expressed their "shock and deep sadness" at the news in a statement from chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

He wrote on the club's official website: "The former Barcelona coach was with his team as a guest with us last season. We got to know and appreciate him as a great coach and wonderful person.

"Tito Vilanova had more than a professional bond above all with our coach Pep Guardiola and his staff.

"Bayern's grief and sympathy is today with Tito Vilanova's family and with Barcelona."

Guardiola and Vilanova became friends when they were players in Barcelona's youth setup.

As coach and assistant they moulded Barca into one of the game’s greatest ever teams, winning three La Liga titles and the Champions League twice.

Vilanova took over from Guardiola in the summer of 2012 and led the club to the Primera Division title again in his only season in charge before having to step down due to health issues.


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