Ex-Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has died aged 45 after fighting a lengthy battle with throat cancer, it was reported on Friday.
The Spaniard was admitted to hospital but reported emergency surgery on Thursday proved unsuccessful.
Vilanova was first afflicted with the illness in 2011 and was treated in 2012 whilst still managing Barcelona. After a cancer relapse, he was forced to step down from his role as manager last year.
In a statement, Barcelona said: "The club expresses their deepest condolences over the passing of Tito Vilanova, who died today in Barcelona at the age of 45."
Barcelona's president - Josep Maria Bartomeu - added on Twitter: "Tito Vilanova was a wonderful person, and will never be forgotten at FC Barcelona. Thank you for everything you taught us. Rest in peace".
It is understood the club will open the Camp Nou to allow fans to mourn his passing and express their condolences.
Promoted from the B team setup, Vilanova took over the Catalan club in 2012, replacing outgoing manager Pep Guardiola.
He proved to be an instant success, leading Barcelona to another La Liga triumph, winning it by a margin of 15 points and finishing on 100 in total.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: https://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms