Italy legend Gianluca Vialli passes away

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Italy legend Gianluca Vialli, 58, passed away after a long and tedious illness. Vialli scored 259 goals in 673 Serie A, Premier League, and European club matches during his 19-year career. In 59 appearances for Italy, he scored 16 goals. Vialli announced his temporary departure from the Italian coaching staff, led by his former Sampdoria teammate and national team coach Roberto Mancini.

Italy legend Gianluca Vialli passes away

The two friends assisted Azzurri in winning UEFA EURO 2020 in the summer of 2021. “A young man leaving us is always a source of great sadness,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said. Football fans will be heartbroken. Gianluca was a fantastic player on the pitch. Still, more than that, he was a wonderful person who made everyone around him smile with his infectious personality,” said Zvonimir Boban, a former Milan player and UEFA technical director and chief of football.

Vialli joined Sampdoria from Cremonese in 1984. With the Blucerchiati, he scored 85 Serie A goals, won three Coppa Italia, the Italian title, and the 1989/90 European Cup Winners’ Cup. With him, Sampdoria lost the 1992 European Cup final to Barcelona. Vialli won the UEFA Champions League on penalties in Rome four years after joining Juventus in 1992.

While in Turin, he was one of nine players to win the Coppa Italia, Scudetto, and 1992/93 UEFA Cup. “This is our captain. Captain for life.” Vialli coached Chelsea after joining the English club in 1996 and retiring in 1999. With London, he won the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the 1998 UEFA Super Cup, the FA Cup twice, and the League Cup.

“This news hurts,” said former Italy and AC Milan defender Franco Baresi. “You were a giant on and off the pitch. You will be sorely missed.”

Fabio Capello added: “I remember the many times when the teams I coached played against him. He was important for his team, he had great character. He was a leader, and he showed that in facing his illness.”


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