But Guardiola was keen to show his support for his former assistant coach at Camp Nou, who led Barcelona to the Liga title after succeeding Guardiola in the dugout last season.
“He’s a friend, and I love him so much,” the 42-year-old told reporters.
“It’s hard to talk to a friend like Tito in German. I wish the best for him and his family so as to tackle this stage with strength.
“This is very, very hard for me.”
Vilanova had been diagnosed with a relapse of parotid gland surgery midway through 2012-13, but appeared to enjoy a turnaround after he made it back to coach Barcelona in the final stages of their campaign.
However, the Catalan club admitted on Friday the trainer would be unable to reprise his duties for the coming season.
- Relapse forces Tito to quit Barca (iol.co.za)
- Tito Vilanova to Resign as Coach of FC Barcelona (theepochtimes.com)
- Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova steps down to undergo further cancer treatment (mirror.co.uk)
- Tito Vilanova ‘to announce imminent departure from Barcelona’ (metro.co.uk)
- Football | Tito Vilanova to leave Barcelona (thejournalist.ie)
- Tito Vilanova Will Reportedly Step Down as Manager of Barcelona (bleacherreport.com)
- Official: Tito Vilanova Resigns As FC Barcelona Manager (barcablaugranes.com)
- Tito Vilanova: Pep Guardiola “wasn’t there for me” (sportsmole.co.uk)
- Vilanova steps down as Barcelona coach after cancer relapse (cnn.com)
- Barcelona call press conference amid speculation over Tito Vilanova (guardian.co.uk)