Tottenham assistant pays tribute to Gianluca Vialli after tragic death

Tottenham assistant pays tribute to Gianluca Vialli after tragic death

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Tottenham manager Antonio Conte was relieved of his press duties on Friday following the death of Italian icon Gianluca Vialli, with co-boss Cristian Stellini paying tribute to the former Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea striker instead.

Vialli died aged 58 at the Royal Marsden Hospital in west London after battling pancreatic cancer for almost six years.

After a hugely successful career in Italy, Vialli moved to England in 1996 where he joined Chelsea on a free transfer and became the club’s player-manager two years later. He led the club to success in the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup before winning the 2000 FA Cup.

Conte was a close friend of Vialli, who was part of the Italian coaching staff in the Euro 2020 triumph over England at Wembley, and he missed his usual press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Portsmouth.

Instead, Stellini paid tribute to Vialli, saying: “Antonio is upset and sad at this moment. Each of us, we are close to Vialli’s family and all the people who loved Vialli. He’s an important person in Italy and also in England so we stand together to stay with his family and remember him in the right way.

“For us he was a great player, but above all he was a great man. He teaches us many things, not only when he plays but also when he talks to everyone. If you know him and people who know him, You can only speak well of this great guy. He was a great leader for Italy.”

Stellini: Sarr has improved a lot in training

Pape Matar Sarr

Pape Matar Sarr gets into the first team fight / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

Pape Matar Sarr has been praised by some of Tottenham support after some cameo appearances in midfield.

The 20-year-old returned to Metz on loan last season after joining Spurs in August 2021 but is now on the fringes of Antonio Conte’s side and looks set to be in real competition for more minutes to come.

On his development, what Spurs have been working on with Sarr and how good he can be, Stellini said: “He’s a very young player. It’s his first time coming to England. He has a year’s experience in Ligue 1 France.” In terms of ability, he can do anything because he’s a great player with a lot of opportunities. He’s a midfielder who can play in many positions. He’s a talented player.

“I spoke at my last press conference about how to wait with young players. If you use young players at the wrong time, you can make a mistake. But with Pape, Antonio decided at that moment that Pape is ready and he is. ” greatly improved in training.

“We worked a lot on posture and a lot of skills that he needs to improve. He showed a desire to improve and that’s very important for us. When you work with a player and he shows that desire, it’s easier. It’s easy with Pape.” He has to keep working because we have a hierarchy, so he has to respect that and we have to respect the players. He has the opportunity now and he has to show his will and quality.”

Stellini also spoke about Harry Kane potentially resting against Portsmouth, saying it “could be an opportunity to give him a rest but we don’t have many players and the choice is mandatory.”

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