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Mourinho, Ozil and De Gea among many who pay tribute to Tito Vilanova on Twitter

The former Barcelona manager has lost his battle with cancer at the age of 45. Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City players have all paid tribute...

The football world is in mourning once again after the sad passing of former Barcelona coach Tito Villanova.

Barcelona have confirmed in a club statement the passing of their former boss - who was just 45-years-old:

FC Barcelona is in immense mourning. Tito Vilanova has died at the age of 45. May he rest in peace.

"The club wishes to express its most heartfelt sympathy to his family, who are being joined in these moments of mourning by FC Barcelona members and fans all around the world, as well as the rest of the footballing and sporting world.

"The Vilanova family has asked for respect for their desire for the strictest intimacy in the moments after his death."

Villanova, whose association with Barcelona began in 2002 as a youth coach became the head coach when Pep Guardiola took a sabbatical in 2012.

In his one full year in charge at Barcelona he won the La Liga title but stepped down in July last year as he did not think he could give the club 100% whilst undergoing a cancer battle.

He was first diagnosed with parotid cancer in November 2011 and relapsed in December 2012.

Another relapse was confirmed in the summer and he lost his battle this week after undergoing emergency surgery recently.

Despite being just 45-years-old he was one of professional football’s most respected young managers and his career knew no bounds.

Unfortunately we will never know how he would fulfil his immense potential.

And Premier League players, as well as those from across the world, have taken to Twitter and Instagram to express their condolences on the loss:

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