BARCELONA | TITO VILANOVA
Barcelona pay respects to Tito Vilanova at memorial service
Barcelona Cathedral hosted a ceremony attended by the first team, the board, other sporting sections at the club, ex-presidents and ex-players.
A religious memorial service was held at Barcelona Cathedral on Monday evening to commemorate the life of Tito Vilanova, who died on Friday. The service, which was led by Barcelona’s cardinal archbishop Lluís Martínez Sistach, is the only public ceremony to take place alongside the former Barça coach's family, with Vilanova's wife and children joined by his parents and brother, as well as other relatives. Hundreds of fans also gathered outside the cathedral, watching the service on giant screens.
Among those in attendance at the memorial service were the members of the current Barcelona board, in addition to ex-presidents Agustí Montal, Josep Lluís Núñez, Joan Gaspart, Enric Reyna, Joan Laporta and Sandro Rosell. Alongside the Blaugrana’s first-team squad, the captains of each of the club’s football teams, and those in its other sporting sections, were also present.
Several Spanish clubs sent representatives to the memorial: Espanyol (Joan Collet), Real Madrid (Fernando Fernández Tapias and Emilio Butragueño), Mallorca (Lorenzo Serra Ferrer), Athletic Bilbao (José Ángel Iríbar), Valencia (Amadeo Salvo and Juan Sol), Real Betis (Fernando Casa and Julio Jiménez) and Sevilla (José Castro Carmona). Javier Tebas, the president of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), also attended. The presence of Txiki Begiristaín (Manchester City), Eduardo Macia (Fiorentina), and Joao Gabriel and Nuno Gomes (Benfica) saw clubs from outside of Spain also represented.
Other former Barcelona players were present at the ceremony, including: Carles Rexach, Josep Maria Fusté, Migueli, Ferran Olivella, Josep Moratalla, Tente Sánchez, Toño de la Cruz, Josep Palau and Josep Franch.
David Font, the mayor of Vilanova’s birthplace Bellcaire d’Empordà, was among the members of Catalonia's public authorities in attendance. Font was joined by Barcelona mayor Xavier Trias and Catalonia premier Artur Mas. The president of the Catalonian Football Federation, Andreu Subies, was also at the service, for which the cathedral's capacity was increased in order to accommodate the 1,500 attendees.