What cancer does Gianluca Vialli have and why has he left his role with Italy?
GIANLUCA VIALLI was a powerful touchline presence at Euro 2020 – as Italy went on to win the title, following his battle with cancer.
As a player, the former goalscorer was one of the most feared strikers in Europe when he moved from European champions Juventus to Chelsea in 1996.
GettyGianluca Vialli has a key role for Roberto Mancini in the Italian national team’s coaching set-up[/caption]
In fact, his signing was one of those that sparked the Premier League revolution, making it one the international powerhouse league we know today.
He also managed the Blues, as well as Watford in his only two managerial appointments.
But the affable bearded ace has had a tough time in his personal life, where he has been battling cancer.
What cancer does Gianluca Vialli have?
Vialli, 56, revealed in November 2018 he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He underwent chemotherapy and about 18 months later announced he was all clear of the disease.
Honest Vialli told RAI 1: “I cannot fight with cancer because I would not be able to win this battle, it is a much stronger opponent than me.
Getty Images – GettyGianluca Vialli was appointed by Roberto Mancini in November 2019 while battling cancer[/caption]
“Cancer is an unwanted travel companion, but I can’t help it.
“It got on the train with me and I have to go ahead (and) travel with my head down, never giving up, hoping that one day this unwanted guest will get tired and leave peacefully for many years because there are still so many things I want to do in this life.
“I realise that people can look at me, see that I am doing alright, and hope that they might do the same.
“Maybe because I was a footballer and a strong man, but also fragile and vulnerable at the same time, so I think someone may have recognised themselves in this.
“I’m here with all my faults and my many fears, but also with the desire to do something important.”
PAVialli won the Champions League with Juventus before joining Chelsea[/caption]
What was his role with the Italy team at Euro 2020?
Vialli has been friends with Azzurri manager Roberto Mancini since their time together at Sampdoria.
After his cancer diagnosis, former Manchester City boss Mancini offered Vialli the chance to join up with the national team as their chief delegation officer.
Also part of Mancini’s coaching team is former Juventus and Crystal Palace star Attilio Lombardo.
Chelsea fans were delighted to see Vialli celebrating wildly at Wembley during Italy’s extra-time win over Austria at Euro 2020.
Why has he stepped away from his role with the Azzurri?
Vialli moved away from being part of Mancini’s coaching staff after signs of cancer returned in his body.
He said: “At the end of a long and difficult ‘negotiation’ with my wonderful team of oncologists I have decided to suspend, I hope temporarily, my present and future professional commitments.
“The goal is to use all the psycho-physical energies to help my body overcome this phase of the disease, so that I will be able as soon as possible to face new adventures and share them with all of you.”