Chelsea Legend Vialli Dies After Battle With Cancer
Legendary Chelsea, Juventus and Italian striker Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58 following a battle with cancer.
Vialli’s death was confirmed on Chelsea and Juventus’ Twitter handle on Friday.
Vialli who earned 59 caps for Italy, was diagnosed in 2017.
The Italian was given the all-clear in 2020 but sadly his pancreatic cancer returned a year later.
Last month he was forced to step away from his role with the Italian national team.
Vialli’s mother, 87, rushed to be by his side in a London hospital after his condition reportedly worsened at the end of December.
During a 16-year playing career in Italy, Vialli won every major trophy on offer, including Serie A titles with Sampdoria (1991) and Juventus (1995), the Champions League with the latter in 1996, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
He was also a four-time Coppa Italia winner.
Vialli scored 16 goals in 59 appearances for Italy and featured in the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals, while his £12.5million transfer from Sampdoria to Juventus in 1992 was a world record fee at the time.
In 1996, Dutch great Ruud Gullit, then the Chelsea manager, lured Vialli to Stamford Bridge and the trophies continued to mount up.
At the end of the Italian’s first season in England he lifted the FA Cup and flourished at the London club after the Dutchman’s exit.
The following season, now as player-manager, Vialli led Chelsea to glory in both the League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.
Aged just 33 years and 308 days, Vialli was then the youngest manager to win a major European title.
He guided Chelsea to a third-placed Premier League finish in 1998-99, his last campaign as a player, and bowed out with the winning goal in a 2-1 home win over Derby.
He won his fifth major trophy in less than three years in charge of Chelsea when they won the FA Cup in 2000, becoming the club’s most successful manager at the time, before being sacked five games into the following season.