Italian Football Legend Gianluca Vialli Passes Away Aged 58

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Italian football legend Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer. Vialli, who enjoyed a stellar career with Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea and earned 59 caps for Italy, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017.

Former Italian football star Gianluca Vialli has died from cancer at the age of 58.

 

His death was announced on Friday by the striker’s former club Sampdoria.

 

Vialli, who enjoyed a stellar career with Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea and earned 59 caps for Italy, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. He was given the all-clear a year later only for the illness to return.

 

In a Netflix documentary aired in March, he described cancer as “a travel companion” that he hoped would eventually leave him in peace, after testing his mettle.

 

“Illness can teach a lot about who you are, and can push you to go beyond the superficial way in which we live,” he said.

 

Despite the disease, he was still able to play a significant role in Italy’s Euro 2020 title-winning campaign assisting longtime Sampdoria strike partner and national coach Roberto Mancini.

 

Vialli and Mancini led the Italians to the Euro 2020 tournament in 2021, lifting the trophy in Wembley Stadium where, 29 years earlier, their Sampdoria team had lost the European Cup final to Barcelona.

 

Last month, Vialli was forced to step aside from his role as head of a delegation with the Italian national team, saying he needed to focus on overcoming a new phase of his disease.