Tito Vilanova: Ranking the 5 Greatest Moments of His Coaching Career

Mourning the Loss of Tito Vilanova

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

The sporting world was sent into mourning on Friday afternoon following the death of former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who succumbed to a multiple year battle with throat cancer. And while there is certainly a large place for sadness over the loss of Vilanova, I have decided to take a rosier look at things. Keeping this in mind, I have identified the five greatest moments of Vilanova's coaching career.

5. Joining Barca B as Assistant to Pep Guardiola

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

5. Joining Barca B as Assistant to Pep Guardiola

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

Vilanova received his first coaching gig in 2007 as assistant to Pep Guardiola on Barca B, where he would go on to coach Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, amongst others. The side would go on to win the Tercera Division during the 2007-08 season, with Vilanova serving as the brains to Guardiola's technical philosophy.

4. Winning 2009 UEFA Champions League Title

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

4. Winning 2009 UEFA Champions League Title

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

After his lone season with the reserves, Guardiola and Vilanova moved up to the first team, occupying the same roles as a year earlier. Barcelona would go on to win an unprecedented treble, and six major trophies in all, which was unprecedented at the time. The last of these trophies was the 2009 UEFA Champions League title.

3. Being Named Barcelona Manager

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty images

3. Being Named Barcelona Manager

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

After Guardiola decided to step down, Vilanova was named the head coach of Barcelona on April 27, 2012. This was a monumental moment for the career of Vilanova, as he took over the biggest club in the world, and in the one in which he both learned how to play and coach soccer.

2. Return to Touchline on April 6, 2013

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

2. Return to Touchline on April 6, 2013

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

Unfortunately, Vilanova had to miss nearly two months in the midst of his only season in charge of Barcelona because of chemotherapy, but his return to the Camp Nou was a moment of the ages. The return coincided with that of Eric Abidal, and provided for an emotional scene at the Camp Nou, and a 5-0 thrashing of Mallorca.

1. Winning 2013 La Liga Title

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

1. Winning 2013 La Liga Title

tito vilanova barcelona
Getty Images

After battling to first become Barcelona's head coach and then to regain good enough health to stay on the touchline, Vilanova's first season ended perfectly. On May 11, Barcelona clinched the La Liga title, and they would go on to match the league record with 100 points for the season.

All in all, Vilanova had a coaching career for the ages, and the world is a better place because of him. R.I.P. Tito.

Around the Web