'Madrid will be be tough to beat without Mourinho' – Roura

The Barcelona assistant doubts the Portuguese’s departure will weaken the Blancos and revealed that Tito Vilanova has once more returned from his cancer treatment in New York

Barcelona’s second-in-command Jordi Roura does not believe Jose Mourinho’s departure will weaken arch-rivals Real Madrid.

The Portuguese has long been rumoured to be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season and it was finally confirmed this week, though the Blaugrana assistant was reluctant to read too much into the exit.

Roura said: “It’s not up to me to comment on [Mourinho leaving]. Madrid will always be a difficult opponent.”

Roura also revealed that Tito Vilanova has returned from further cancer treatment in New York and reported that the head coach is looking healthy.

He added: “Tito has arrived back from New York very cheerful. He looks happy – the tests went well and he looks good.”

Barca face city rivals Espanyol in their penultimate Liga game of the season and Roura said it is up to their opposition if they want to give a guard of honour, while revealing Carles Puyol will be rested though Dani Alves could feature.

“[Espanyol] are free to do what they want. We can’t say anything, Espanyol can decide,” he continued.

“Alves trained well, we’ll see tomorrow if he can play. We will focus on Puyol returning next season as we want him to be back totally recovered.”

Barca kick-off against their local rivals at 20:00CET on Sunday as they pursue the 100-point mark – something they have never reached before and require two wins out of two to achieve.

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