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Vilanova reignites Pep feud

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has claimed former colleague Pep Guardiola "wasn't there for me" during his rehabilitation from cancer.

Last Updated: 16/07/13 at 14:29 Post Comment

Pep Guardiola was replaced by Tito Vilanova last summer

Pep Guardiola was replaced by Tito Vilanova last summer

In the latest chapter of what has turned into an unseemly row between Guardiola and the club he served with such distinction as coach and player, Vilanova admitted he had been disappointed by the new Bayern Munich coach's conduct.

Vilanova underwent treatment for salivary gland cancer earlier this year in New York, where Guardiola was taking a year-long sabbatical after leaving the Nou Camp hot-seat at the end of the 2011/12 season.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell had previously suggested Guardiola had made little attempt to visit Vilanova in the United States, claims furiously contested by Guardiola, who then claimed the club were using the issue to "cause him damage".

Rosell attempted to defuse the row on Monday night by calling Guardiola "the best manager in the history of the club" but Vilanova himself re-opened it on Tuesday.

He said at a press conference: "People aren't interested in personal matters, but Pep got it wrong and I'm surprised by his comments.

"No-one on the board used my illness to attack him. The club tried to help me as much as possible.

"He visited me once in New York when I'd just arrived, but during my recovery from the operation... I was there for two months and I didn't see him.

"He's my friend and I needed him, but he wasn't there for me. I would have done things differently."

Vilanova disputed the suggestion the pair had fallen out after he succeeded him as Barca boss.

"I talked to him and told him what I intended to do. It was him who encouraged me to become Barca coach," he said.

"I've known him for 28 years. He's my friend. I've won titles with him and we had amazing times together."

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air play to the lad. I'd like to think I 'd have no fear of heading off to the other side of the world to coach, but in truth, I don't have the cajones. Hopefully he can make a decent living out of it.

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