Home News Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58

Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58

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Former Chelsea and Juventus forward Gianluca Vialli has passed away at just 58-years-old, the Italian had been battling with pancreatic cancer since 2017.

Vialli was part of Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff during the success at Euro 2020 but had recently had to step away from the role, after his cancer returned.

The Italian had been living in south-west London and was taken into hospital a few weeks ago, with his family from Italy flying over to visit him.

He underwent treatment for the illness at the Royal Marsden Hospital, initially in 2017, and was given the all clear three years later.

However, after the success at the Euros, with Italy defeating England at Wembley, his cancer returned and he started having treatment again.

He stepped down from his role with the national team to focus on his treatment.

Vialli celebrates on the Wembley pitch after Italy's win on penalties. Image: Alamy
Vialli celebrates on the Wembley pitch after Italy’s win on penalties. Image: Alamy

Vialli started his career with hometown club Cremonese, scoring 23 goals in Serie B and earning a move to Serie A side Sampdoria.

There he formed a strike partnership with childhood friend Roberto Mancini, and the pair ushered in the team’s most successful era together.

He was top goalscorer in the league as Samp won their first Serie A title in 1990/91, as well as winning the UEFA Cup, and three Coppa Italias.

They also reached the European Cup final, where they eventually lost to Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona ‘Dream Team.’

Vialli’s form for the Blucerchiati earned him a world record move to Juventus in 1992, costing the Old Lady £12.5 million and he went on to win Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup medals with them as well.

The crowning glory of his career came in 1996 when the Bianconeri won the Champions League, defeating Ajax on penalties in the final.

Vialli lifts the Champions League trophy. Image: Alamy
Vialli lifts the Champions League trophy. Image: Alamy

He moved to Chelsea that summer when his contract in Turin ended, but fell out with manager Ruud Gullit soon after and was a bit part player as they won the FA Cup.

Vialli was made player-manager when Gullit was sacked and led the Blues to further success in the League Cup, Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Super Cup and produced the club’s highest league finish since 1970, ending the season in third.

He retired from playing in 1999 to focus on managing and won the FA Cup in 2000, following it up with a win in the Charity Shield.

He remained living in England for the rest of his life, following a stint as Watford manager, and is survived by his wife, Cathryn White-Cooper, and two young daughters.

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