Vialli urged to ´keep fighting´ as Serie A great battles cancer in hospital

December 21, 2022


Gianluca Vialli has been urged to “stay strong and keep fighting” in his cancer battle after it emerged the Serie A great is being treated in hospital.

The 58-year-old former Italy striker has been visited at a London clinic by his mother and a brother, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Concern in Italy about Vialli’s health is shared in England, where former Chelsea defender John Terry sent a message of support.

Terry was given his Blues debut by player-manager Vialli in 1998 and went on to be a long-standing club captain.

He wrote on Twitter: “Stay strong and keep fighting Luca. We are all thinking of you. We are sending our love, strength and prayers.”

Vialli began his career at Cremonese, his hometown club, before going on to star in Serie A for Sampdoria and Juventus, later ending his playing career at Chelsea before going into management and coaching.

Cremonese posted a picture of a young Vialli on Tuesday, adding the message: “Always by your side.”

He scored 16 goals in 59 appearances for Italy and featured in the Azzurri’s 1986 and 1990 World Cup squads.

It was announced last week Vialli would be stepping away from his role as delegation chief with the Italy team to focus on his battle with pancreatic cancer.

He has been reunited of late in the Italy set-up with head coach Roberto Mancini, his former Sampdoria strike partner, and Vialli is hoping to recover in order to resume his national team role.

Vialli announced he had undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy in November 2018, having been diagnosed with cancer one year earlier.

He was initially given the all-clear in April 2020, but he announced he was fighting the disease again in December 2021.

Explaining his decision to suspend his Italy involvement, Vialli said on December 14: “The goal is to use all my psycho-physical energies to help my body overcome this phase of the disease, in order to be able to face new adventures as soon as possible and share them with all of you.”