Rome, Europe Brief News – 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.
Born in the northern city of Cremona in 1964, Vialli enjoyed a stellar career with Italian clubs Sampdoria and Juventus, as well as English side Chelsea, and earned 59 caps for Italy.
He was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 but was given the all-clear a year later – only for the illness to return.
In a Netflix documentary aired in March, Vialli 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 tournament in 2021, lifting the trophy in Wembley Stadium where, 29 years earlier, their Sampdoria team had lost the European Cup final to Barcelona.
They celebrated with a tearful embrace that “was more beautiful than the hugs we used to give each other when I passed him the ball and he scored goals,” Vialli said in a TV interview with Italy’s RAI in November.