FORMER Chelsea player and manager Gianluca Vialli dies aged 58.
The ex-Italian international won every trophy possible in Italian club football before playing for and managing Chelsea. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago and got the all-clear in 2020, but later relapsed.
The former Chelsea player and manager Gianluca Vialli has died aged 58 after a battle with cancer.
The Italian, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago, played for and managed the London club, scoring 40 goals in 88 games between 1996 and 1999 during his time on the pitch for Chelsea and becoming one of the club’s most beloved players.
Tributes have flooded in for Vialli, with former teammate Graeme Souness, who played alongside him at Sampdoria, visibly emotional as he remembered his friend on Sky Sports.
“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 said.
“He was just fabulous to be around. He was such a fun-loving guy, full of mischief, wonderful footballer and a warm 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.”
Sampdoria described him as “better than Pele” in an emotional tribute, saying: “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. We will continue to love and adore you.”