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Alves pledges Vilanova support

24 December 2012 19:27

Barcelona defender Dani Alves says every member of his team will help Tito Vilanova through a battle with cancer.

Barca coach Vilanova has suffered a relapse of the disease and had throat surgery to remove a tumour from a saliva gland last week.

"We are here to help him be," Alves told O Estado de Sao Paulo.

"That's why every victory is dedicated to him. Football comes second now, because he is struggling for his life."

Vilanova had led Barca to their best-ever start to a La Liga season, and although they hold a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, Alves is adamant that the title is not yet decided.

"The gap is more than considerable," he said.

"But we should remain grounded as we still have many games left and the championship is far from over. I'm not surprised by our results so far.

"We are reaping the fruits of our labour. We worked hard, and the results are following."

The former Sevilla man has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou in recent weeks, but said he has no intention of leaving.

"Those are interventions made to destabilise us," he said of reports about his exit. "I feel good and I want to stay."

Barcelona return to action against Espanyol on January 5.

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Friday 19 December

Thursday 18 December

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 15 +42 39
2 15 +29 35
3 15 +14 32
4 15 +8 30
5 15 +15 28

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