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Former Italy striker Gianluca Vialli dies aged 58

Former Italian soccer star Gianluca Vialli has died from cancer at the age of 58, Italian news agency ANSA said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Semi Final - Italy v Spain - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 6, 2021 Italy delegation chief Gianluca Vialli celebrates with staff after winning the penalty shootout Pool via REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo
Carl RecinePool via REUTERS

Former Italian soccer player Gianluca Vialli has died from cancer at the age of 58.

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.

After Sinisa Mihajlovic and Pelé, Calcio today mourns the death of Gianluca Vialli. The former Cremonese, Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea striker was 58 years old and last December he had announced the suspension of his commitments with the Italian national team due to the complication of his health situation.

Vialli had been battling pancreatic cancer since 2018 and leaves his wife Cathryn, whom he married in 2003, and daughters Olivia and Sofia.

As a footballer, Vialli was an exceptional striker, scoring 259 goals in 673 club appearances and also 16 goals in 59 appearances as an Azzurro. He won four Italian Cups, two Scudetti (one of them, legendary, with Sampdoria), two Italian Super Cups, an FA Cup, an English League Cup, two European Cup Winners’ Cups, a UEFA Cup, a Champions League and a European Super Cup.

Gianluca Vialli
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He also had a brief coaching stint in the dugouts of Chelsea (between 1998 and 2000, where he was also a player for six months), winning a League Cup, FA Cup and Charity Shield, and Watford (2001/02). Since 2019, he worked as head of the Italian delegation alongside his friend Roberto Mancini: the image of the two of them embracing in tears at Wembley, when Italy were crowned European champions in 2021, is legend.