Vilanova better than Guardiola at Barcelona - Freixa
By Football News
Guardiola led Barca during a four-year period of success from 2008, in which they won three La Liga titles and a host of other domestic and continental trophies.
The Catalan giants also won the UEFA Champions League twice under the reign of the former midfielder, who made more than 250 appearances for the club as a player.
Despite having to follow Guardiola in the manager's seat, Vilanova has impressed and club spokesperson Toni Freixa hailed the impact the 44-year-old has had at Camp Nou.
"Tito wins all the comparisons with Guardiola, even the human aspect," Freixa told Radio Marca.
"When he was presented as our new coach, he said that he should not be compared with Pep as he would always lose those comparisons. I disagree, though, and believe he wins on each front."
Freixa was also quizzed about the future of defender Eric Abidal, who spent more than a year on the sidelines following a liver transplant before returning in Barca's recent win over Real Mallorca.
Abidal's contract is set to expire in June and Freixa says that the club's decision about the Frenchman's future will be based on football only.
"Barcelona will have to make a decision on his renewal solely based on technical parameters," he said.
"He has been an example to follow, but the eventual decision about his future lies with the technical staff."
Barcelona host Levante on Saturday before travelling to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. Vilanova's side lead rivals Real Madrid by 13 points in the race for La Liga and the club's assistant coach, Jordi Roura, insists their first priority is sealing a fourth league win in five years.
"For us the league is the most important tournament," Roura said.
"If we win the league, and only the league, I think we have to be very happy with the season we've had.
"The team has overcome many difficult times. We've had a plague of injuries and we managed to cope with them. The team has been able to maintain regularity and intensity, overcoming many adversities.
"We need nine more points to win the league and we will try to do it sooner rather than later."