Barcelona are set to pay an incredible tribute to former boss Tito Vilanova ahead of their El Clasico clash against Real Madrid this weekend.
Vilanova, a key figure in the club’s most successful period, had to step down as manager over the summer to concentrate on his battle with throat cancer.
The 45-year-old has been battling the disease since shortly after he was promoted from assistant coach to succeed Pep Guardiola at the end of the 2011-12 season.
In recognition of his work and in an amazing show of support as he battles the illness for a third time, the club has planned a huge mosaic to pay homage to their former manager.
The 98,000 fans who will cram into the Camp Nou to watch the first meeting of the season between the two giants of the Spanish game will hold aloft coloured cards to turn the stadium into a giant mosaic set against a message that will read ‘Forca Tito!’, as shown below.
Either side of the message will be the Azulgrana and Senyera colours – that of Barcelona and Catalunya, respectively.
Vilanova and Guardiola coached the Barca B side for a year before taking charge of the first team in 2008 – and the pair led the club in a spectacular four-year run that included two Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles.
Last season, Vilanova helped Barca to a fourth La Liga title in five years as they equalled Real Madrid's record points haul from the previous season of 100.
The tribute is the continuation of a tradition that dates back 20 years according to the club’s website – as can be seen from last year’s wonderful effort.