Gianluca Vialli, Former Italy and Chelsea Striker, Dies at 58 

Gianluca Vialli, the football legend who played for Italy 59 times, has died at 58. 

Vialli had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since his diagnosis in 2017. In 2020, the player was graced with a brief triumph over the illness, according to an account from his book. He had undergone eight months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiotherapy, and hid his health issues because of “a sense of shame.”

However, regardless of the intensive treatment, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer again in 2021, after Italy's 2020 triumph and reuniting with the game. 

In December 2022, he left his role with Italy’s national team to focus on his health. He gave a personal statement on 14 December: “The goal is to use all my psycho-physical energies to help my body overcome this phase of the disease, in order to be able to face new adventures as soon as possible and share them with all of you.” 

Unfortunately, he died in a London hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Players also paid their last respect.

And Vialli's former agent, Athole Still, spoke on the legend's divine persona.

Vialli started his professional career in 1980 at Cremona, where he was born, with the city’s national team, Cremonese, and signed with Sampdoria in 1984. He would then win three Italian cups and score 84 league goals. After a successful run with Sampdoria, he transferred to Juventus in 1992 for a world record fee of £12.5m and played for four seasons.

In his time in Juventus, he won the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA cup, and Serie A Titles. In 1996, Vialli joined Chelsea, and, in the following season, became Chelsea’s manager, also being the first Italian to manage a Premier League side.  

He is one of nine footballers to have won the three main European club competitions and the only player in European footballing history to have both winners' and runners-up medals in all three main European club competitions. In his 20-year career, he scored 286 goals in over 500 appearances, and remains one of the highest scoring Italian players of all time. 

On his passing, Sampdoria composed a heartfelt statement: “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 because – as you well know – you are better than Pelé. 

“We won’t forget your 141 goals, your overhead kicks, your cashmere shirts, your earring, your platinum blonde hair, your Ultras bomber jacket. 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.” 

This article was written and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.