Sergio Busquets admits Barcelona have missed manager Tito Vilanova during his absence, and that the players are eagerly awaiting his return.

The 44-year-old has been away from the club since the start of 2013, travelling to New York in America for cancer treatment.

However, Vilanova has returned to Catalonia, and will take the reigns once again ahead of a crucial run-in both domestically and in Europe for the current La Liga leaders.

"We are eager for him to return. He is a cornerstone for us and at this time we have noticed his absence," the Spanish international told reporters after the 1-0 win against France, according to

Busquets also took time to praise the efforts of assistant coach Jordi Roura, with the 45-year-old doing a solid job under pressure at the Nou Camp.

Roura was criticised for defeats in both La Liga and the Champions League, but a 4-0 victory over AC Milan in the second leg of their last 16 tie silenced the doubters.

"We cannot ask for more from Roura, he has shown his face in press conferences in front of us, did what he had to do and he has our appreciation," Busquets concluded.

Vilanova has arrived back in Barcelona ahead of their clash against Celta Vigo this weekend, before the trip to Paris to face PSG in the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition on Tuesday night.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: