Vilanova asks for privacy on return

 FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova asked for privacy regarding his illness while speaking to the press following his side’s comfortable 4-0 win at home to Espanyol.

Vilanova was in the dugout for the game Sunday less than 20 days after undergoing a second operation for cancer in his parotid gland, following an earlier operation in November 2011, reports Xinhua.

His return was welcomed by players and thousands of fans had banners of support for the coach, although he preferred not to talk in depth about his illness. “I am grateful for everyone who has supported me in this time and for all of the doctors who have treated me during this time as well as to the club and the players who have been able to rise above the news in the way that they have done,” said Vilanova.

“This club has suffered setbacks in the past two years,” he said in reference to French defender, Eric Abidal, who recently returned to training following a liver transplant.

“I am grateful to the way the media has respected my illness, but this isn’t over yet and there are days when I will be able to coach and others when I won’t be able. I know I have a public position but the illness is mine and as such it is private and I ask you to respect that privacy.”

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