Gianluca Vialli dies aged 58 after pancreatic cancer battle

Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58 credit:Bang Showbiz
Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58 credit:Bang Showbiz

Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58.

The former Italy and Chelsea striker has passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Vialli was first diagnosed with the disease in 2017 but it returned last year after he had been given the all-clear in 2020.

The sports star left his role with the Italian national team last month and explained that he needed to undergo treatment for the disease.

The striker started his playing career in his homeland with Cremonese before representing Sampdoria and Juventus – who he joined for a then world record fee of £12.5 million in 1992.

During his 16 years as a player in Italy, Vialli won every major trophy on offer, including Serie A titles with Sampdoria and Juventus in 1991 and 1995 respectively.

The star is one of only nine footballers to have won the three main European club competitions.

Vialli moved to the Premier League with Chelsea in 1996 and became player-manager of the Blues following the sacking of Ruud Gullit in 1998.

He became the first Italian to manage a Premier League club and went on to lead the Blues to glory in the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup in his first months in the role.

Vialli ended his playing career to focus on management in 1999 and enjoyed more success with the London club as he guided them to victory in the FA Cup and Charity Shield in 2000.

However, he was sacked early in the 2000/2001 campaign after an indifferent start to the season.

In a social media post, Chelsea wrote: "You'll be missed by so many. A legend to us and to all of football.

"Rest in peace, Gianluca Vialli."

Vialli then managed Watford in the 2001/2002 season but was sacked after a disappointing year in charge.

The footballer won 59 caps for Italy and scored 16 goals at international level. He represented the Azzurri at three major tournaments.

Prior to his death, Vialli had been the national side's head of delegation.