Rome, Jan 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Italian football legend Gianluca Vialli passed away aged 58 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed on Friday.
Born in 1964, Vialli started his professional career with his hometown club Cremonese, before moving to Sampdoria in 1984, where the hitman shot to fame by winning a Scudetto, three Italian Cups, an Italian Supercoppa and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
After eight seasons with Samp, Vialli spent four years at Juventus bagging five trophies, including a Scudetto and one Champions League. With Azzurri, he won 59 caps and scored 16 times, making his debut on November 16, 1985 in a friendly against Poland.
Vialli's playing career ended in 1999 after three years in England at Chelsea and started off his coaching career. He joined Italy's coaching group to work alongside his old friend Roberto Mancini, winning the UEFA Championship in 2021, reports Xinhua.
Three weeks ago, Vialli had announced he was to step aside temporarily from his duties with the team in order to "have all his mental and physical energy available to him to help his body fight this stage of his illness".
"I am deeply saddened by the news," said FIGC President Gabriele Gravina.
"I hoped right up until the final seconds that another miracle would appear, yet I'm consoled by what he gave to football in Italy and the Azzurri shirt, and that will always be remembered. Gianluca was a wonderful person and will leave a big hole in the national team and in everyone who knew his extraordinary human qualities," he added.
To remember him, the FIGC has arranged a minute's silence to be observed before all the league's games at the weekend.