«A legend leaves us»
This is how the football world mourns Gianluca Vialli
The sympathy in the sports world after the death of former star striker Gianluca Vialli is huge. Countless fans say goodbye. Former employers and companions also mourn the 58-year-old.
Gianluca Vialli has passed away at the age of 58.
Nicholas HorniRingier journalism student
“As soon as he set foot on Stamford Bridge – he was already a world star – he declared his great desire to become a Chelsea legend. He has undoubtedly achieved this goal.” With these words, Chelsea say goodbye to their former star striker.
The “Blues”, with which Vialli won four titles as a player and five as a coach, write of a “terrible day”. His influence as a player, coach and above all as a person will forever go down in the history of the club.
“It was love at first sight”
The Italian Football Association also mourns the loss of its former player and team manager. “Bye Gianluca, we will never forget you,” writes the FIGC on Twitter. “A champion, yes, a legend, a great man, a piece of us and our history is leaving us,” writes ex-club Juventus Turin. Vialli was under contract with the “Old Lady” for four years, scoring 53 goals in 145 games and winning the Champions League with her in 1996. It was “love at first sight”, the news of death “a message that we hoped never to receive”.
While countless other fans are saying goodbye on social media, former teammates are also mourning Vialli. “You were an example of courage and dignity – on the field and in life. Rest in peace.” writes ex-player Andrea Pirlo on Instagram. Today’s Real coach and ex-teammate Carlo Ancelotti says goodbye with “Bye my friend. Rest in peace”.
“A wonderful footballer and a warm person”
Graeme Souness (69) pays tribute to his former teammate against Sky Sports. “It was just fabulous to be with him. He was such a fun-loving guy, full of mischief, a wonderful footballer and a warm person.” The Scot played for two seasons with Vialli at Sampdoria Genoa in the mid-1980s. “People will say things about his great footballing ability and rightly so, but most of all he was a human being. My condolences to his family – the children were fortunate to have such a father and his wife was fortunate to be married to such a man.”
The striker’s former opponents also pay tribute: “A wonderful player, coach and person who it was a privilege to play against. Rest in peace Gianluca Vialli,” Manchester United wrote on Twitter. Newcastle United, Manchester City and West Ham United also bid farewell to the 1996 Champions League winners. (hon/fin)