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Barcelona and Valladolid players pay tribute to Tito

The back of the shirts read "Common sense, strength and balls", a phrase the coach sent to his players by text message, and one he repeats a lot in pre-match team talks.


Barcelona and Valladolid players pay tribute to Tito
Barcelona players pay tribute to Tito.

Barcelona's players took to the pitch of the José Zorilla stadium before their game with Real Valladolid wearing shirts in support of their coach Tito Vilanova, who underwent an operation to treat cancer on Thursday.

The team wore white t-shirts with the message "Anims" ("Get well soon") above a picture of Vilanova, while the message on the back of the shirts read "Seny, pit i colons" ("Common sense, strength and balls"), a phrase the coach sent to his players by text message before the game, and one of his most often used phrases in pre-match team talks.

The Valladolid players also wore the same shirts in order to send their support to Vilanova.

This is the second time that Barça's players have paid tribute to Vilanova. On 19 November, before a game against Real Zaragoza, they wore t-shirts with the message "Tito, we will get through this too", to send encouragement to the then assitant coach, who was receiving treatment for cancer for the first time.

The sporting world has been mobilised by the news of Vilanova's cancer, with everyone involved in Spanish football falling over themselves to offer the coach their support. On Friday night Atlético Madrid's players wore shirts with messages of encouragement for Tito before their game with Celta Vigo.

According to doctors, Vilanova's operation on Thursday went "according to schedule" and he left hospital on Saturday morning, two days earlier than expected.

Estadísticas AS.com