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Monday, 16 September 2019

Vilanova could miss Barcelona winning the La Liga title

The Spanish giants coach spent two months in New York earlier this year having radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment for cancer

Reuters, Monday 6 May 2013
FC Barcelona's coach Tito Vilanova attends a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in San Joan Despi, Spain, Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (Photo: AP)
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Coach Tito Vilanova could miss the title celebrations if Barcelona are crowned La Liga champions on Wednesday as he will be in New York having a medical check up.

Barca's 4-2 victory at home to Real Betis on Sunday left the Catalans 11 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid with four games left to play, and requiring only two more points to make first place unassailable.

Real host Malaga at the Bernabeu in a re-arranged fixture on Wednesday when anything less than a victory would hand Barca their fourth title in five years - Vilanova's first in his debut season at the helm.

"On Monday, I am going to New York for some scheduled tests and I will be back on Thursday," Vilanova told the post-match news conference.

Vilanova spent two months in New York earlier this year having radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment for cancer and returned to the dugout in March.

The 44-year-old had an operation to remove a tumour from his saliva glands in November 2011 and required a second round of surgery in December.

If Real win their game, Barca's next opportunity to seal the league title will be at the Calderon next Sunday, when they visit third-placed Atletico Madrid.

"We have to think we will need two more points because Madrid will probably collect all theirs," Vilanova said.

"We should recognise it is hard to win a league and when we do achieve it we should really celebrate it".

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