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Barcelona hire new Vilanova assistant

Barcelona have hired Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia, commonly known as Rubi, as assistant to Tito Vilanova for the 2013-14 season.

The 43-year-old was previously in charge of Segunda Division side Girona.

He led them to a fourth-place finish last season, but the Catalan side were denied their first ever season in La Liga as they suffered a 4-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Almeria.

The Spaniard initially joined the club in 2011 as an assitant for Javi Salamero, as they managed to fend off relegation to the third tier.

He signs a one-year deal at the Liga champions with the option to extend his contract by an extra year.

Rubi will officially begin his new role on July 15 when Barcelona meet for pre-season training.

Vilanova will remain in charge of first-team affairs with Jordi Roura, who deputised while the manager was ill last season, as second coach and Rubi taking the role of assistant.

Barcelona also confirmed Rafael ‘Rafinha’ Alcantara, the younger brother of reported Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara, has agreed a new contract that ties him to the club until 2016.

The midfielder made 36 appearances for Barcelona B in the Segunda Division last season, contributing 11 goals.

Fri 28 Jun, 2013
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