Gianluca Vialli: Former Chelsea, Juventus, Sampdoria and Italy striker dies aged 58

Gianluca Vialli was Chelsea’s player-manager once they received the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1998

Former Chelsea striker and supervisor Gianluca Vialli, who performed 59 occasions for Italy, has died on the age 58.

Vialli was re-diagnosed in 2021 and in December 2022 left a job with Italy’s nationwide staff to concentrate on his well being.

“Gianluca was a splendid person and he leaves a void that cannot be filled,” mentioned Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina.

“I hoped until the end that he would be able to perform another miracle. Yet I am comforted by the certainty that what he did for Italian football and the blue shirt will never be forgotten.”

The FIGC confirmed {that a} minute’s silence in reminiscence of Vialli shall be held earlier than all Italian matches this weekend.

Vialli made his Italy debut in 1985, a yr after becoming a member of Sampdoria the place he would win the Serie A title and European Cup Winners’ Cup throughout eight seasons with the membership.

Sampdoria mentioned in a press release: “We won’t forget your 141 goals , your overhead kicks, your cashmere shirts, your earring, your platinum blonde hair, your Ultras bomber jacket. 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.”

Vialli helped Sampdoria attain the 1992 European Cup closing however after shedding to Barcelona, he moved to Juventus for a then world file charge of £12m. Vialli spent 4 seasons with Juve, profitable the Champions League, Uefa Cup and Serie A titles.

A Juve assertion mentioned: “We loved everything about you, absolutely everything – your smile, your being a star and leader at the same time, on the pitch and in the dressing room, your adorable swashbuckling ways, your culture, your class, which you showed until the last day in the black and white stripes.”

Vialli joined Chelsea on a free switch in 1996 and have become player-manager in 1998 – the primary Italian to handle a Premier League facet, taking on from the sacked Ruud Gullit late within the season – and went on to guide the Blues to victory within the League Cup, Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup and Uefa Tremendous Cup.

He additionally guided Chelsea to victory within the 2000 FA Cup closing and Charity Protect however was sacked early within the following season after a poor begin.

A Blues assertion mentioned: “A brilliant striker, a trophy-winning manager and a wonderful man, Luca’s place in the pantheon of Chelsea greats is assured. He will be deeply missed.”

Vialli subsequently spent the 2001-02 season as supervisor of Watford, then within the second tier, however was dismissed after the Hornets completed 14th.

In October 2019 he was appointed to Italy’s backroom workers by supervisor and former Sampdoria team-mate Roberto Mancini. He helped the Azzurri win Euro 2020 with victory over England at Wembley in July 2021.

A FIGC assertion mentioned: “That photo on the Wembley lawn, that hug with coach Roberto Mancini after Federico Chiesa’s goal against Austria in the round of 16 of the 2021 European Championship, will be one of the images of Gianluca Vialli that we will carry in our hearts forever.”

‘A stunning soul’ – Vialli tributes

A lot of Vialli’s former team-mates and managers have led the tributes to the previous Italy striker.

Former Blues supervisor Gullit posted a picture on Instagram of himself with Vialli on the day he signed for Chelsea in 1996 with the caption: “RIP Gianluca Vialli. We will miss you.”

Former Scotland defender Graeme Souness, who performed alongside Vialli at Sampdoria, informed Sky Sports activities: “I can’t tell you how good a guy he was. Forget football, he was just a gorgeous soul. He was just a truly nice human being.

“He was simply fabulous to be round. He was such a fun-loving man, stuffed with mischief, great footballer and a heat human being.

“People will say things about his magnificent football ability, and correctly so, but above all that what a human being. My condolence go to his family – the kids were blessed to have a dad like that, his wife was blessed to be married to a man like that.”

Actual Madrid supervisor Carlo Ancelotti, who performed alongside Vialli with Italy, tweeted in Italian: “Ciao amico mio” – thanks my good friend.

Writing on Twitter, BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker mentioned: “Deeply, deeply saddened to hear that Gianluca Vialli has left us. One of the loveliest people You could possibly meet. A truly magnificent footballer who will be hugely missed. RIP Luca.”

Former England captain Alan Shearer tweeted: “RIP Gianluca Vialli. What a lovely lovely man and a wonderful player he was.”

And ex-England striker Peter Crouch wrote on Twitter: “I’m genuinely gutted about this. I had Sampdoria home and away shirts because of him. I tried to replicate his volleys In the park and such a lovely man when I met him. Rip”

The Chelsea Supporters’ Belief described Vialli as a “foundational pillar” upon which the membership constructed a brand new trophy-filled period.

A press release learn: “He was loved by everyone at our football club. Thank you, Gianluca. We will miss you.”

League Managers’ Affiliation chief govt Richard Bevan described Vialli as “one of the kindest and most charismatic men we have ever met in the world of sport”.

Gianluca Vialli’s profession – in photos

Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini at Sampdoria
Gianluca Vialli started his profession at Cremonese earlier than becoming a member of Sampdoria in 1984, the place he fashioned a prolific strike partnership with Roberto Mancini
Italy team photo before a match at the 1990 World Cup
Vialli performed 59 occasions for Italy and was a part of the Azzurri squad that completed third on the 1990 World Cup on dwelling soil
Gianluca Vialli lifting the Champions League trophy
Vialli joined Juventus for a then world file charge of £12m in 1992, profitable 5 main trophies together with the Champions League in 1996
Gianluca Vialli with the League Cup
Vialli turned Chelsea player-manager in 1998 and led the Blues to victory within the League Cup, Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup and Uefa Tremendous Cup.
Gianluca VIalli and Ray Wilkin's at a Watford game
Vialli’s closing managerial position was with Watford through the 2001-02 with former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins as his assistant
Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini celebrating at Wembley
Vialli was reunited with former team-mate Mancini with Italy in 2019 and helped the Azzurri win Euro 2020

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