The day Tito Vilanova convinced Messi to stay in Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 05: Lionel Messi of Barcelona speaks with Tito Vilanova the Barcelona head coach as he prepares to come off the bench during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis Balompie at Camp Nou on May 5, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

On the day of Tito Vilanova’s fifth year after passing away, Jordi Roura revealed how the manager convinced Messi to stay in Barcelona that year.

Back in the 2012-13 season when Pep Guardiola left Barcelona, manager Tito Vilanova took charge and even managed to convince Messi not to leave.

The Argentine player felt like it was time for him to seek fortune in another club and he was close to making a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

We all believed these were only rumors until this weekend, turns out Messi was actually going to leave the Catalan club.

The hero that made him stay is late great Tito Vilanova, the manager who passed away due to a fight against cancer five years ago.

The one who revealed this information was Jordi Roura, the manager who took Tito’s place when he wasn’t able to work due to his chemotherapy sessions.

That FC Barcelona squad will forever be remembered as the only squad that won 100 La Liga points alongside Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid.

Vilanova was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of parotid gland cancer and wasn’t able to win the fight against the terrible disease that lasted less than two years.

During that only season in which Vilanova decided to coach FC Barcelona, the Catalan manager won a historic La Liga title with the help of his assistant manager Jordi Roura.

The former interim coach who took Vilanova’s place for a few games spoke to Radio Kanal Barcelona, he did it on Tito’s fifth year death anniversary.

Apart from talking about the manager’s record-breaking season and the whole experience of being by his side, Roura also revealed a staggering detail about Leo.

Vilanova realized that Messi wasn’t certain about remaining at FC Barcelona and he immediately reacted to the situation.

Jordi revealed that both men had a meeting that extended for several hours and that was the reason the player decided to stay.

This new information makes all the rumors about Messi leaving to play for PSG completely valid, as well as the rumors linking him to Manchester City.

Even after his death, Tito Vilanova still left a major mark on the Argentine player.

The star posted a touching tribute of his former manager through his official Instagram account and Roura offered this interview.

There have been many tributes dedicated to Vilanova throughout the whole day from several players and former players from the Catalan club.

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However, Leo Messi is the one that stands out above the rest.

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“It’s true that Leo wasn’t certain about remaining at Barcelona or not,” said Roura via Diario AS.

“It is also true that a meeting took place between him and Tito Vilanova. I wasn’t there, they remained speaking to each other for hours.”

It is also true that I have no idea what they discussed in that meeting but Messi changed his mind after that.”

“He decided to continue playing at Barcelona, that was very fortunate for all the club’s fans.”

“People spoke about what Tito was like as a person. He was a very quiet, simple, direct, and interesting man.”

“He had a huge personality and he always kept it clear for everybody, he was a huge professional and that made him special.”

“I always say that we were very romantic. We are Barça and Tito lived a very difficult situation from a distance.”

“His work ethics as a professional cannot be questioned despite being far away. We knew that season was going to be hard and complicated to overcome.”

“We all lived a unique situation that affected us in every way.”

“The professional pressure that Barcelona granted us, came hand in hand with the tough situation that our manager was going through.”

“Getting 100 points with that situation in our hands was almost impossible,” he concluded.

What do you think about this new revelation about Tito Vilanova convincing Messi to remain in Barcelona? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.

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