The preseason for 2012/13 has just begun for the first team of Barça. Tito Vilanova takes the reins at the helm of Barcelona from departing head coach Guardiola. We all know Tito as for the last four years he was present as an assistant on the first team’s bench. Since his appointment, Tito Vilanova has carefully chosen his assistants and co-workers. Below is an introduction to Tito’s staff, with some familiar faces, and some new.
Jordi Roura, assistant manager
Roura arrived at La Masia in the early 80s. He made his debut with the first team of FC Barcelona under Johan Cruyff in 1988, but a serious injury to his right knee in the European Super Cup against Milan in 1989 impeded his growth as a footballer. He continued his football career in Murcia and Figueres in 1991. Due to his physical problems, he decided on early retirement. His first steps as a manager were with Yokohama Flugel, along with Carles Rexach, and Terrassa, as Jordi Vinyals’ assistant. In 2009 he was part of the team of observers in Pep Guardiola’s technical staff. For the past three years Roura has had the charge of analysing Barça’s rivals.
Aureli Altimira, physical trainer
Altimira played alongside Tito and Roura at Figueres, where they managed to get the team into Spain’s first division for the first time in its history. After that, he played at Malaga and other teams in Catalunya. He’s been a fitness coach for the entire Pep era.
Àlex Garcia, technical analyst
Garcia returns to Barça as a member of the ‘scouting’ team led by Domènec Torrent and Carles Planchart. He had previously worked for the scouting department during the 2010-11 season when he was commissioned to track Álexis Sánchez. He has coached Barça youth teams for years and has just returned to the club to join the technical analysis team. In the beginning of his coaching career, in 2002-03, Álex also worked with the spectacular generation of 87, including Cesc Fàbregas, Gerard Piqué, Leo Messi and co.
Eduard Pons, fitness coach
Edu Pons was previously the fitness coach for the FC Barcelona Juvenil A team. Before joining the blaugrana, Pons worked for Lleida, Nàstic, and Almeria.
José Ramon de la Fuente, goalkeeping coach
José Ramon de la Fuente played as a goalkeeper for Barça B in the 1994-95 season. He hung up his gloves at Écija in 2006, and began his coaching career there before going to Hércules (2008-09), Racing as assistant coach (2009-10), Nàstic (2010-11) and back to Hércules (2011-12).
Yon Alvarez, physiotherapist
Source: fcbarcelona.cat, ara.cat; Picture credits: MIGUEL RUIZ – FCB