Italian football mourns the loss of former international Gianluca Vialli. The former striker died on Friday at the age of 58, the family said in a statement. Vialli was most recently the head of the national team delegation and thus assistant to national coach Robert Mancini. In mid-December, he announced that he would be putting his duties in the association on hold for the time being due to cancer treatment.
"I am deeply saddened," Italian Football Federation (FIGC) boss Gabriele Gravina said in a statement. "I hoped until the end that he could perform another miracle. But I am comforted by the knowledge that what he did for Italian football and the blue jersey will never be forgotten," added the association president. The FIGC has ordered a minute's silence before all Serie A games on the coming matchday.
Vialli was a member of the Azzurri squad that finished third at the 1990 home World Cup. Mancini and he were close friends and led Italy to the European title in 2021.
Vialli was a forward with Mancini at Genoa Sampdoria in the late '80s and early '90s. Together they shot the Italian club to the only championship title in club history (1990/91). That year, Vialli won the top scorer trophy (19 goals). The striker later moved to Juventus Turin before ending his active career at Chelsea FC in London. He even worked as a player-coach for the "Blue". He made 59 appearances for the Italian national team, scoring 16 goals.
Four years ago he had survived pancreatic cancer. In the past few weeks he had fallen ill again and had resigned from his position with the national team.