Tito Vilanova Pens Barca Deal
Tito Vilanova is not worried about being compared to Pep Guardiola after being officially presented as the new Barcelona coach on Friday, although he admits it will be tough to match what his record-breaking predecessor achieved.
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Vilanova signed a two-year contract on Friday morning that ties him to the Catalan giants until June 30, 2014 and he now begins the daunting task of replacing the hugely successful and popular Guardiola.
In just four years in charge Guardiola led Barca to an unprecedented period of dominance with 14 trophies, including three Primera Division crowns, two Champions League titles and two Copa del Reys.
The 42-year-old Vilanova, who as Guardiola's assistant played a big part in those triumphs, knows comparisons between himself and his former colleague are inevitable as he embarks on his first post as a first-team coach, but he is not letting that bother him.
"I'm not scared of there being comparisons between his Barca and mine. I'm going to lose all of those comparisons, I know that. But I've not come here to be compared to him, I've come here to do my job," Vilanova said.
"I've been very fortunate to have won all those titles in four years. We're going to have the opportunity to repeat that, but it's going to be very difficult.
"We know the difficulty that we have, but we want to win every game.
"We will not give any game or any title up for lost. We will try to win everything."
In appointing Vilanova rather than looking outside the club for a new coach, Barca are aiming to remain faithful to the style of play that has served them so well in recent years.
On what is likely to change under his tenure, Vilanova said: "Pep and I worked closely together and we made many of the decisions together. Therefore, I'm not now going to try and change just to differentiate myself."
Guardiola revealed in April that he would be stepping down this summer and would be taking some time away from the game to "recharge his batteries".
The 41-year-old's announcement came three days after Barca had been knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea.
Vilanova was immediately named as Guardiola's replacement, but the former Celta Vigo and Real Mallorca player admits it was not a position he accepted without some serious thinking first.
Vilanova underwent surgery last November for a problem with his parotid gland.
"I asked for some to time to think about it because I was also tired and I was coming from a delicate situation as you all know." he said.
"I had a very important operation a few months ago and I therefore had to talk with the doctors and my family before accepting the offer, but they told me I was perfect. I'm really looking forward to the job.
"The challenge (with Barca) is very big but after what's recently happened to me physically I doubt that this is more difficult.
Vilanova was also quizzed on possible signings at his presentation on Friday, although neither he or sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta were giving much away.
Barca looked a little thin in attack at stages last season with the likes of David Villa, Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez all being sidelined for varying periods through injury, but Vilanova said the club's main focus was looking at strengthening the defence.
"It's true that we want to bring in defensive reinforcements, we've had problems there and we've had to adapt players," he said.
"We want a left-back and a centre-back. Up front we don't expect to bring in anybody else. This year Villa, Alexis and Pedro have suffered injuries, but next season we hope that will be ok. We also have Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca."
Vilanova also dismissed speculation linking Dani Alves with a move away from the club, describing the Brazil full-back as "one of the most important players in the squad" and said they are not looking to move on midfielder Seydou Keita either.