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Former Juventus, Chelsea player Gianluca Vialli dies age 58

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Gianluca Vialli
Former Italy player and head coach Gianluca Vialli. | PHOTO: Talk Sport |
  • Former football player and manager Gianluca Vialli has passed away, the family has confirmed
  • Vialli is a former player for Italy national team, Juventus, Sampdoria and Chelsea
  • Vialli also served as head coach for Chelsea and Italy national team

Former Italy player and head coach Gianluca Vialli has passed away at the age of 58.

After initially receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2017, the former footballer for Italy’s national team, Chelsea football club, Sampdoria, and Juventus, announced in April 2020 that he had been given the all-clear. However, the following year, he received a second diagnosis.

Due to the disease’s consequences, Vialli resigned from his position as the national team coach of Italy in December.


Gianluca Vialli is an Italy legend. | PHOTO: Fotmob |

Though the news that Vialli’s family had gone to London to visit him in hospital surfaced, he had thought that the transfer away from his profession would only be temporary.

After his death was revealed on Friday, tributes from all throughout the football world and beyond poured in.

In his playing days, Vialli was a striker who spent the majority of his time at Sampdoria until joining Juve in 1992.


Gianluca Vialli won the UEFA Champions League title with Juventus. | PHOTO: Juventus FC |

Four years later, he transferred to Chelsea, and after Ruud Gullit was fired in February 1998, he was designated player-manager. This made him the first Italian manager in the Premier League.

At the age of 33 years and 308 days, Vialli set a record as the youngest manager to win a UEFA competition when leading the Blues to a double of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the EFL Cup. This record remained for more than a decade.

In Vialli’s first full season as player-manager, Chelsea won the Super Cup by defeating Real Madrid and finished third, which was at the time their best Premier League finish. The Blues won the FA Cup and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League the following season.

Vialli, who made 59 appearances for Italy between 1985 and 1992, departed Chelsea shortly into the 2000-01 campaign and later had a brief spell with Watford.

A statement from Sampdoria, as seen by SportsLeo reads: “You gave us so much, we gave you so much: yes, it was love, reciprocal, infinite. A love that will not die today with you. We will continue to love and adore you because – as you well know – you are better than Pelé. And because, despite everything, our beautiful season is destined to never end.

“We will remember you as a boy and a relentless centre-forward, because heroes are all young and beautiful and you, since that summer of 1984, have been our hero. Strong and beautiful, with that 9 printed on the back and the Italian flag sewn on the heart.”

Juve added: “We have always suffered along with you, including the anxiety of these last few weeks. And again, in the end, we had to cry, but this time tears of loss.

“We are not original in confessing that we don’t know how to get on in a world without Gianluca Vialli, even though we know that, as we have always been with you, now it will be you, forever with us.”

Premier League outfit Chelsea in their statement, said: “You’ll be missed by so many. A legend to us and to all of football. Rest in peace, Gianluca Vialli.”

The statement continued, “This is truly an awful day for Chelsea Football Club. Gianluca’s legend will live on at Stamford Bridge.”

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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