Tito Vilanova's Final Service To Barcelona Was Convincing Lionel Messi To Stay
Six days before tragically passing away, Tito Vilanova convinced Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona when he was discouraged following a bad season and considered changing clubs.
Barcelona failed to land a major piece of silverware in the 2013/14 season.
It's believed the Argentine maestro was exploring his options after an unsuccessful campaign in Spain until Vilanova's intervention.
The story goes that Vilanova invited Messi to his house and urged him to stay at the Catalan club.
Of course, Messi continued to ply his trade with Barcelona and he's produced heroics, helping his side win three La Liga titles as well as the coveted Champions League in 2015.
Thursday marked five years since Vilanova sadly lost his battle to cancer and the man himself led the tributes.
"Always with us," said Messi on Instagram.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu also paid respect to Vilanova.
"It's been five years since you said goodbye," the post read.
"I am always grateful to have shared your human quality and your football philosophy; we always remember the 100-point league title."
The 'Blaugrana' posted an emotional message accompanied with a picture of a banner at the Camp Nou on Twitter.
"Five years without Tito Vilanova. An exceptional coach. Barcelona in his heart. One extraordinary person."
Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba not to mention Chelsea's Pedro also shared a touching message to their former manager.
"#TitoForever #TitoEtern," said Busquets.
"Five years without Tito. In my thoughts forever #TitoForever #TitoEtern," posted ex-Barcelona forward Pedro.
"We miss you. Alway with us! #Tito Etern," said Alba.
Gone but never forgotten.