Few first-year coaches have inherited as rich a legacy as Tito Vilanova, now in charge of Barcelona's experienced and star-studded team led by the unequaled Lionel Messi.
Fewer still face as much pressure as Pep Guardiola's former assistant, who is tasked with recovering the Spanish league title from Real Madrid.
Not only will Vilanova struggle to escape comparisons with his mentor, who led the club to an unprecedented 14 titles in four seasons, he will also have to handle Guardiola's biggest adversary, Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.
''Until now, (Vilanova) had a low profile and all the responsibility fell on Guardiola, now it is his turn to take the leading role,'' said Barcelona's Javier Mascherano. ''All eyes are on him, but he has always been an important part of the success of this team.''
Vilanova and Mourinho have a brief but colorful history.
In his first two seasons at Madrid, Mourinho has again proven to be one of football's greatest coaches as well as one of its most ...