Vilanova handed Barca reins

Guardiola's assistant named as new boss at Camp Nou

Tito Vilanova: Backed by Pep Guardiola to do a good job as Barcelona boss

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Tito Vilanova has been named as Barcelona's new boss for next season following Pep Guardiola's departure from the club.

Guardiola announced on Friday that he would be standing down in the summer after four years in charge, but speculation about who might replace him was ended quickly as club president Sandro Rosell revealed that Vilanova would be handed the reins.

Vilanova, 42, came through Barcelona's youth ranks but after failing to break into the first team he continued his playing career with a number of lower league clubs before retiring in 2002.

He rejoined the Catalans as a youth coach in 2007, helping Barcelona's B side to promotion.

Vilanova was promoted to first-team duties, working alongside Guardiola, for the 2008-2009 season, by the end of which the team had won six major trophies including the UEFA Champions League.

Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta believes promoting from within, as they did with Guardiola, is the best way forward.

Best decision

He said: "We've always said that if the team needs players, we look at home first (Barca B). Who do we have here at home? Tito.

"We chose Tito because he represents the idea and the image. He has commitment and personality."

Vilanova named new Barca coach

Guardiola endorsed the move, saying: "I think the club has taken the best decision possible.

"He is more than capable. The players know him. He will make few changes. He will give the club and these players something that I thought I could no longer give.

"I could have continued but is not what Barca would have deserved."

The move to name a replacement so swiftly was a surprise with reports in Spain linking the likes of Ernesto Valverde, Laurent Blanc and Marcelo Bielsa with the position once it became clear Guardiola was heading for the exit.