Former Chelsea striker and manager Gianluca Vialli passed away on Wednesday at the age of 58, leaving behind a legacy in the football world that will never be forgotten.
Vialli made his debut for the Italian national team in 1985 and played 59 times for his country
Spent eight seasons with Sampdoria, winning Serie A and European Cup Winners' Cup
Moved to Juventus for a world-record fee of £12m and won Champions League, Uefa Cup, and Serie A titles
Joined Chelsea on a free transfer in 1996 and became player-manager in 1998, leading the team to victories in the League Cup, Uefa Cup Winners' Cup, and Uefa Super Cup
Guided Chelsea to victory in the FA Cup final and Charity Shield in 2000
Helped Italy win Euro 2020 as a coach in 2021
Vialli was "a gorgeous soul" and "a wonderful footballer and a warm human being," according to his former Sampdoria team-mate Graeme Souness.
Vialli was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. In 2020 he received the all-clear but was diagnosed with it again in 2021.
Souness, a former Scotland midfielder, spoke highly of Vialli's character and praised his impact on those around him. "People will say things about his magnificent football ability, and correctly so, but above all that, what a human being," Souness told Sky Sports. "He was just fabulous to be around. He was such a fun-loving guy, full of mischief, a wonderful footballer and a warm human being. Forget football. He was just a gorgeous soul."
Vialli's career on the pitch was equally as impressive as his character off of it. He made his debut for the Italian national team in 1985 and played 59 times for his country.
Vialli spent eight seasons with Sampdoria, where he won the Serie A title and the European Cup Winners' Cup.
Sampdoria said: "We won't forget your 141 goals, your overhead kicks, your cashmere shirts, your earring, your platinum blonde hair, your Ultras bomber jacket.
"You gave us so much, we gave you so much: yes, it was love, reciprocal, infinite. A love that will not die today with you."
He then moved to Juventus for a then world-record fee of £12m and spent four seasons with the club, winning the Champions League, Uefa Cup, and Serie A titles.
Vialli's time at Chelsea was perhaps the most memorable of his career. He joined the club on a free transfer in 1996. He became player-manager in 1998, becoming the first Italian to manage a Premier League side. Under his leadership, Chelsea won the League Cup, Uefa Cup Winners' Cup, and Uefa Super Cup. In 2000, Vialli guided the Blues to victory in the FA Cup final and the Charity Shield.
In 2021, as a Coach, he helped the Azzurri win Euro 2020 with a victory over England at Wembley.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has announced that a minute of silence will be held in memory of Vialli before all Italian matches this weekend. FIGC President Gabriele Gravina said, "Gianluca was a splendid person and he leaves a void that cannot be filled. I hoped until the end that he would be able to perform another miracle. Yet I am comforted by the certainty that what he did for Italian football and the blue shirt will never be forgotten."