Concerns are growing rapidly over the health of Italian football legend Gianluca Vialli as he has been taken to hospital for extra treatment as he suffers from pancreatic cancer.
The former Sampdoria and Juventus centre-forward is one of the major figures of Italian football and is still employed with with the national team set-up.
As has been reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Vialli’s 87-year-old mother has flown to London, where he is undergoing treatment, so that she can be by his side. Vialli has lived in London for the past few years as he retired from football whilst playing for Chelsea in the English Premier League.
It was only last week that the FIGC announced that the 58-year-old would be stepping back from his role as Italy team coordinator temporarily so that he could focus on his treatment rather than work.
Vialli’s diagnosis first arrived in 2017 but he was still a key part of the Azzurri setup at EURO 2020 which Italy won, beating England on penalties in the final at Wembley.
The world of Italian football nervously waits for any news regarding Vialli’s condition.
Gianluca Vialli’s glittering career
Gianluca Vialli began his superb career at Cremonese, whose youth academy he had graduated from. He made 113 appearances for the Grigiorossi and he scored 25 times, helping take the team from Serie C1 to Serie B. After netting 10 times in 1983/84, Sampdoria brought him.
It was at Samp that Vialli really made a name for himself, forming a deadly strike partnership with the now-Italy coach Roberto Mancini. Thanks to their goals, Sampdoria won their first-ever Serie A title in the 1990/91 season. Vialli was the top scorer with 19 goals.
Vialli also won three Coppa Italia, one Supercoppa Italiana, and one UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup with Sampdoria. In 1992, he was sold to Juventus for a world record fee of €16.5 million. He played 328 times for Sampdoria and scored 141 times.
Five more major trophies followed with the Bianconeri whom he scored 53 goals for in 145 appearances. They included one Serie A title and one Champions League.
He then moved on a free transfer to Chelsea where he won three trophies and ended up becoming player/manager after Ruud Gullit’s sacking. After that role, he was the manager of Watford but he only lasted one season.
Vialli’s international career with Italy
Gianluca Vialli made 59 senior appearances for Italy during his successful career, managing to score 16 goals. These figures aren’t quite as prolific as his time in club football. With the help of Vialli, Italy achieved third place at the 1990 World Cup on home soil.
His international career came to an early end in 1992 after a falling out with then-Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi.