Tributes As Italy and Chelsea Legend Gianluca Vialli Dies At Age 58 After Battle With Cancer.

The Football world again have been thrown into mourning following the death of Gianluca Vialli, who passed away on Friday, January 6, at the age of 58.

The legendary Italian striker, had been battling pancreatic cancer since 2017 (five-years), but was given the all-clear in 2020 before a reappearance in 2021, which had become more complicated of late.

He began his footballing career in his native club side Cremonese where he made 105 league appearances scoring 23 goals, and later moved to Sampdoria in 1984, during which time he scored 85 league goals, won three Italian cups, the Serie A and the European Cup Winners Cup. 

Following his impressive performances Vialli completed a transfer to Juventus for a world record £12.5 million in 1992. During this time he won the Italian Cup, the Serie A, Italian Supercup, UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup. 

He moved to Chelsea in 1996, scoring 40 goals in 88 appearances for the Blues between 1996 and 1999, before later going on to be a player-manager. In England he won the FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield, UEFA Cup Winners, and UEFA Super Cup.

He coached the Blues for 133 games between 1997 and 2001. He then ended his short-lived coaching career at Watford with 51 games in the 2001/02 season. 

The footballing icon was adored by fans of both club and country for his energy and positivity. 

Vialli won 59 caps for Italy and scored 16 times. He represented his country from 1985 to 1992, and was in the squad at the 1988 Euros and 1990 World Cup in Italy.

After he was initially given the all-clear on his health in April 2020, one of his best friends and former Sampdoria teammate Roberto Mancini called him to join his backroom staff in charge the Italian national team, who are the current European champions following their successful Euro 2020 campaign in England the following summer.

The win over England via penalties in the final, handed Italy their first title since 2006.

He reportedly stepped down from the role in December when he returned to the Royal Marsden hospital to undergo further treatment on cancer, which he called “an unwanted guest”.

Vialli is survived by his wife, Cathryne White Cooper, and their two daughters, Olivia and Sofia.

He was one of the most loved players of his generation and different tributes to the great striker have poured in;

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