Tributes pour in as Chelsea & Italy legend Gianluca Vialli dies

Gianluca Vialli: Chelsea, Juventus and Italy legend dies aged 58 after cancer …

Tributes from the world of football have poured in following the death of former Chelsea forward Gianluca Vialli.

Vialli, an Italian international who also played for Juventus, Sampdoria and Cremonese as well as managing both the Blues and Watford, passed away aged 58.

Vialli was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. In 2018 he had revealed that he had overcome the cancer at Royal Marsden Hospital, with a further revelation arriving in 2020 that he had been given the all-clear.

However, in late 2021, Vialli broke the news that the cancer had returned. A year later he left his role with the Azzurri to focus on his health. A month later, he passed away.

A larger-than-life figure who left his mark on each club he played for, football clubs around the world have taken the time to pay their respects.

Football fans around the world have been paying tributeGetty images

Chelsea left their own massive tribute to Vialli, describing him as a 'legend' who was revered for his work on the football pitch and in the dugout.

Sampdoria said that they 'will remember you as a boy and a relentless centre-forward, because heroes are all young and beautiful and you, since that summer of 1984, have been our hero.'

Juventus also poured their heart out in their obituary:

"We had been watching the news for days, hoping never to read this. But here we are, staring at the screen, and a flood of emotions crashes inside of us. We have always been with you, Gianluca. Ever since you arrived in 1992, when it was love at first sight. You were one of the first pieces of a Juve side that would have climbed back to the top of Europe. We loved everything about you, absolutely everything - your smile, your being a star and leader at the same time, on the pitch and in the dressing room, your adorable swashbuckling ways, your culture, your class, which you showed until the last day in the black and white stripes."

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness was left in tears on Sky Sports news, while Vialli's former teammate - Tottenham manager Antonio Conte - has cancelled his pre-match press conference.

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There were plenty more who offered words in tribute, including Peter Crouch who described his despair on Twitter, noting that he had tried to replicate Vialli in his youth.

Vialli made 223 appearances for Sampdoria, 102 for Juventus and a further 58 for Chelsea. Across all three clubs he scored 167 league goals. For Italy, he appeared 59 times.

And that will clearly never be forgotten.

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