Barca's players gather in memory of Vilanova

Published:

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Barcelona's players and executives have gathered to pay their respects to Tito Vilanova at Camp Nou, a day after their former coach died from throat cancer.

Barcelona's players signed a book of condolence and held a moment of silence for Vilanova, who died Friday at 45.

Team captain Carles Puyol says "a great, complete person, an example, has left us. This is a difficult blow."

Vilanova's illness forced him to step down as Barcelona coach last summer after winning the 2012-13 Spanish league title. He had served as Pep Guardiola's assistant during a four-year run when the team won 14 titles.

A memorial site for Vilanova has been set up at the stadium and is open for fans this weekend.

The funeral is Monday at Barcelona's cathedral.