Death of soccer coach Vilanova mourned in Barcelona

Nearly 1,500 people gather in Spanish city's cathedral to commemorate death of Barcelona coach

Nearly 1,500 people gather in Spanish city's cathedral to commemorate death of Barcelona coach

MADRID - A ceremony has been held in Spain to commemorate the death of former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova.

Tito Vilanova's family, current and former directors of the Barcelona club, coaching staff, footballers and almost 1,500 people took part in the ceremony in Barcelona Cathedral, which was broadcast live on giant screens installed throughout the streets of the Catalan city on Monday.

Addressing the congregation, the Cardinal of Barcelona, Luis Maria Martinez Sistach, said that Vilanova was a very modest person and a role model thanks to his efforts and way of working during his life. 

Tito's assistant in the Catalan club, Jordi Roura, described Vilanova as his pal and brother and said he would be very missed.

"We shared so many things and what we experienced with you [Tito] were much stronger than the sufferings that we will come across without you, and I always respected your values," Roura said, to prolonged applause.

The former Barcelona coach's children cried as they completed their speeches, while the team's current chairman, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said that Tito would always be deep inside their hearts.

Many important football figures in Europe, such as Emilio Butragueno, who works for Real Madrid's external affairs, Valencia chairman Amadeo Salvo and former coach of German team Bayern Munich Jupp Heynckes, also attended the ceremony.

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