MX23RW : Thursday, September 20 20:44:02

Chelsea's Jose Mourinho: 'Tito Vilanova's death is a sad day for football'

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says that is it a "sad day" for football following the death of former Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his sadness at the news that former Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has passed away at the age of 45.

The Catalan giants announced on Friday that Pep Guardiola's successor has lost his battle with throat cancer.

Mourinho knew the Spanish coach from his time as Real Madrid manager, when he famously poked Vilanova in the eye while he was Guardiola's assistant at Barca.

Via Chelsea's official Twitter page, Mourinho said: "Tito Vilanova's passing is a sad day for football, for Barcelona and most importantly for his family and friends.

"On behalf of everybody at Chelsea Football Club I send my deepest condolences at this most difficult time."

Vilanova was replaced by Gerardo Martino at Camp Nou last summer after he relapsed.

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Tito Vilanova looks on as he gives a press conference in Barcelona on May 31, 2013
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