Former Chelsea player and manager Gianluca Vialli has died at age 58 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, the Italian Football Federation said.
The former striker for Italy and Juventus was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. In 2020, he said he had been given the all-clear after treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. He was re-diagnosed with the disease in 2021, and he said last month that he was stepping down as the head of Italy’s national team delegation.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said before Christmas that his 87-year-old mother Maria Teresa and his brother Nino had travelled to London to be with Vialli in the hospital.
During his 16-year playing career in Italy, Vialli won every major trophy there was to win. He won the Serie A with Sampdoria in 1991 and with Juventus in 1995. He also won the Champions League with Juventus in 1996, as well as the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. He also won four Coppa Italia titles.
Graeme Souness with a touching tribute to his friend Gianluca Vialli ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jqNmxJq0MP
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 6, 2023
He played for Italy in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups and helped the Azzurri finish in third place in 1990. In 1992, when he moved from Sampdoria to Juventus for £12.5 million, it was a world record transfer fee.
Vialli joined Chelsea in 1996 and helped them win the FA Cup at the end of his first season. The next year, as player-manager, he led the London club to victory in both the League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. His popularity went beyond Stamford Bridge because he knew how to use slang English and had a twinkle in his eye.
Peter Crouch, a former striker for England, wrote on Twitter, “I’m really sad about this. Because of him, I had home and away shirts for Sampdoria. I tried to play volleys like him in the park, and when I met him, he was such a nice guy. RIP.”
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When they won the FA Cup in 2000, it was his fifth major trophy in less than three years in charge. At the time, he was the club’s most successful manager. However, he has fired five games into the next season. Chelsea tweeted, “So many people will miss you. A legend in our eyes and in football as a whole. Rest in peace, Gianluca Vialli.”
Even though he is still fighting cancer, he was named the new head of Italy’s delegation by his close friend and head coach Roberto Mancini. He played a key role in the country’s win at Euro 2020.
After Italy beat England on penalties in the final at Wembley, fullback Alessandro Florenzi said what Vialli meant to their winning team.
He said: “He will hate me for saying this, but I don’t care. We have among us an example that teaches us how to live, in any moment, in any situation. And I’m talking about Gianluca Vialli. For us, he’s special. Without him, and without Mancini and the other coaches, this victory would mean nothing. He is a living example. I’m sure he’ll be mad, but I had to say it.”
Is it known what led to Gianluca Vialli’s death?
Even though the cause of death hasn’t been officially said, Vialli had been fighting pancreatic cancer for a long time. He was first told he had it in 2017, and after treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, he announced in 2020 that he had been given the all-clear.
A wonderful player, manager and person against whom it was a privilege to compete.
Rest in peace, Gianluca Vialli. pic.twitter.com/qt4ZpUMtP3
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 6, 2023
Vialli said he had eight months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiotherapy. At the time, he said: “It’s been a year and I’m back to having a beastly physique. But I still have no certainty of how this match will end.” He quit his job with Italy in December after being told again in 2021 that he had the disease.
How is Gianluca Vialli’s Life So Far?
Son of a self-made millionaire, Vialli grew up with his four siblings in the 60-room Castello di Belgioioso in Cremona. Vialli married Cathryn White-Cooper on August 26, 2003, and they had two daughters, Olivia and Sofia.
He was a big golf fan and played at the Dunhill links championship pro-am event. Vialli still lived in SW6 in London 20 years after he left Chelsea F.C.
In November 2018, Vialli said that he had won a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was helped at the Royal Marsden Hospital. On April 13, 2020, it was reported that he had been given the all-clear for pancreatic cancer he had been dealing with for 17 months.
On December 21, 2021, he said that he had been fighting pancreatic cancer for a second time. He passed away on January 6, 2023, at the age of 58… For more news like this, you can only find us on The Express.