Guardiola visits Vilanova in Barcelona
ESPN FC Extra: Famous foes meet at San Siro
Pep Guardiola paid a flying visit to Barcelona on Monday where he spoke with his friend and former Blaugrana colleague Tito Vilanova.
The pair first met as teenage youth players at Barca’s La Masia academy and went on to work successfully together with Guardiola manager and Vilanova his assistant during four trophy-laden seasons until Pep stepped down in summer 2011.
However their relationship was said to have cooled after Vilanova took over as Barca boss, with some reports suggesting Tito had expected more support from his friend when he had to leave the job due to illness. The situation was also complicated by internal 'feuding' between camps associated with current Blaugrana president Sandro Rosell and his predecessor Joan Laporta.
According to Mundo Deportivo the current Bayern Munich coach flew into Barcelona via private jet on Monday morning to deal with some personal matters, and then met with Vilanova for over three hours in the afternoon.
No details of their private conversation emerged -- however the Catalan paper claimed they may have been clearing the air and letting bygones be bygones.
At his prematch news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game at home to Viktoria Plzen, Guardiola simply said: "Yes, I've been there. But that's a private matter, you have to respect that, please. Thank you."
Mundo Deportivo also say that Barcelona’s board have decided to pay tribute to Vilanova via the usual fans 'mosaic' at the Camp Nou before Saturday’s La Liga Clasico against Real Madrid. 90,000 supporters are to hold up sheets of paper which together will read 'Força Tito' in a coordinated message of support.