Former star Italy striker Gianluca Vialli dies aged 58

Former Juventus, Chelsea and Italy striker Gianluca Vialli has died aged 58 of pancreatic cancer, his former club Sampdoria announced on Friday.

Vialli was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 but was still able to play a significant role in Italy’s European Championship title-winning campaign in 2021 assisting long-time Sampdoria strike partner and national coach Roberto Mancini.

“We have come a long way together, growing and searching, winning and dreaming. You came as a boy, we salute you as a man,” Genoa-based Sampdoria said in their statement.

He made his name in eight seasons at Sampdoria, winning the Serie A title and European Cup Winners’ Cup before joining Juventus in 1992 for a then world record 16.5 million euros.

He won the Champions League with Juventus before joining Chelsea in 1996 and becoming player-manager in 1998.

Vialli took over from the sacked Ruud Gullit late in the season, and went on to lead Chelsea to victory in the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup. He also guided Chelsea to victory in the 2000 FA Cup final but was sacked in the following season.

Source: EWN

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Mark Pilgrim

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