The morale of the Barcelona squad has taken a real blow in having to say goodbye to its coach. The players heard the news late on Friday, and it was Tito Vilanova himself who told them.
Vilanova had been in charge of the morning training session, which progressed as usual. Just before half past seven in the evening, however, Tito called a meeting where he gave them the sad news that he would have to resign from his job. He thanked them for their work and all the support they've given him, but there was one phrase that stood out from the rest: "It was my life's dream, but I need to leave it behind now".
Tito's return, and the start of the new season, was filling everyone at the club with hope, but the blow of him stepping down has been hard to take.
The club also tried to get in touch with those players that are still on holiday due to playing in the Confederations Cup. Andrés Iniesta wished Tito a speedy recovery from his hometown: "I'm sure he'll triumph again in this ugly battle he has to fight". After discovering a statue had been erected in his honour, he spoke to those present and asked for a round of applause "to give strength" to Tito.
Neymar is an avid user of social networks and at ten in the evening, Spanish time, he posted a picture of himself messing around and pulling faces. The player obviously hadn't heard about events in Barcelona.
The squad will resume training on Monday morning under the orders of Jordi Roura and Rubi.