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Vialli was remembered as a “legend” with a “beautiful soul” after his death aged 58.

Vialli was remembered as a “legend” with a “beautiful soul” after his death aged 58.

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After his death at the age of 58, Gianluca Vialli was remembered as a “legend” with “an enchanting daring manner” and a “beautiful soul”.

Former Italy, Cremonese, Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea striker Vialli passed away on Friday.

He was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 and re-diagnosed with the disease in 2021 after being given the all-clear three years ago.

Vialli had a hugely successful playing career before winning further honors as Chelsea manager and then taking over at Watford before joining the staff of great friend Roberto Mancini to take part in Italy’s 2021 European Championship triumph.

Tributes poured in for Vialli after his death was announced.

Serie A club Sampdoria, for whom Vialli scored 141 goals, said: “We will remember you as a boy and a relentless centre-forward because heroes are all young and beautiful and you have been our hero since that summer of 1984.

“Strong and beautiful, with that 9 on the back and the Italian flag on the heart. Strongest leader of Sampdoria paired with your twin Bobby Gol [Mancini]. In three words: one of us.

“It was a perception that has remained after the tearful farewell to Genoa and the South. That’s right: Gianluca Vialli was a Sampdorian and the Sampdorians were with Gianluca Vialli when he was raising trophies all over Europe with different colors, tracksuits and clothes.”

Goodbye Luca. pic.twitter.com/npEOq6CanR

— Sampdoria English (@sampdoria_en) January 6, 2023

Juve said: “Such an intense sense of loss. We’d been following the news for days hoping we’d never read this. But here we are, staring at the screen and a flood of emotions crashing down on us.

“We were always with you, Gianluca. Ever since you arrived in 1992 when it was love at first sight. You were one of the first players in a Juve side that would rise back to the top of Europe.

“We loved everything about you, absolutely everything – your smile, you are a star and a leader at the same time, on the pitch and in the dressing room, your charming daring manner, your culture, your class, which you showed until the last day in the black and white stripes.

“We have always been with you and that is why we followed you with a smile even after our story together ended as you brought a brand new Italian football model to England, on and off the pitch and only now do we understand how pioneering you were .

“And to have fought the last battle with you in recent years, to have been moved by you when, in excellent form, you happened to lift the European Championship trophy in London in 2021. And even then we raised this trophy together.

“We have always suffered with you, including the fear of these past few weeks. And in the end we had to cry again, but this time tears of loss.

“We are not original when we confess that we do not know how to cope in a world without Gianluca Vialli, although we know that since we have always been with you, now you will be with us forever. Even if that doesn’t console us, at least not now.”

Hello Gianluca pic.twitter.com/C9P8oVLSnR

— Juventus FC (@juventusfcen) January 6, 2023

Chelsea also paid an emotional tribute to their former talisman and boss.

The Premier League club said: “As soon as he walked through the door at Stamford Bridge as a global star, Luca declared his desire to become a Chelsea legend.

“It’s a goal he has undoubtedly achieved, revered for his work on the pitch and in the dugout during some of the most successful years in our history.

“Loved by fans, players and staff at Stamford Bridge, Luca will be sorely missed not only by the Chelsea community but by the entire football world, including in his native Italy where he was such an iconic figure.”

Graeme Souness, Vialli’s team-mate at Samp, told Sky Sports: “I can’t tell you what a good guy he was. Forget football for a minute, he’s just a beautiful soul.

“He was just a really nice person. I went to Italy when I was 31 and he was 20. He was just fantastic to be with, a fun loving guy, he was full of mischief, such a warm person and a fabulous player.

“My condolences go to his family and his wife. They were blessed to have crossed paths, the children were blessed to have such a father, and his wife was blessed to be married to such a man.”

Dennis Wise, Vialli’s Chelsea captain, tweeted: “My heart is broken today. I will miss you my friend, I love you Luca.”

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