The Argentine has been absent through injury recently but returned to the starting lineup for the clash with Bayern Munich as the Blaugrana slumped to a 4-0 defeat, with the Argentine not looking 100 percent fit.
"It's quite normal for us to notice when Messi is absent, who wouldn't?" he told reporters. "[Depending on Messi] is nothing new and it's normal since he's the best in the world. We hope to be dependent on him for many years."
Vilanova went on to reject the notion that there has been a power shift in football towards Germany and vowed that his side would give their all to turn around the tie with Bayern on Wednesday.
"I don't think it's the end of an era for Barca. If we didn't have a great team, we wouldn't be close to winning the league and in the Champions League semifinals," he continued.
He added, "We're Barca, we are playing at home and we have an obligation to our fans to try to turn the tie around. I accept the criticism we received after the Bayern game but we're not going to throw the towel in yet."
Vilanova went on to say that his relationship with Pep Guardiola is not as it once was and thanked Jordi Roura for his services to the team while he was receiving cancer treatment in New York City.
"Pep and I have been close friends since we were kids, but of course things cool down a bit when you are far apart," he continued. "I'm grateful to Jordi for everything he has done. It wasn't an easy situation for him, but he did great."
Barca can mathematically win La Liga this weekend but Vilanova says he does not care when the title is wrapped up.
"I don't care where or when we would win the league, I just want to win it, against the best Madrid in history," Vilanova insisted.