Ex-Chelsea icon dies at 58

Former Chelsea striker and manager Gianluca Vialli, who played 59 times for Italy, has died at the age 58.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 but said in April 2020 that he had been given the all-clear.

Vialli was re-diagnosed in 2021 and in December 2022 left a role with Italy’s national team to focus on his health.

The FIGC confirmed that a minute’s silence in memory of Vialli will be held before all Italian matches this weekend.

Vialli made his Italy debut in 1985, a year after joining Sampdoria where he would win the Serie A title and European Cup Winners’ Cup during eight seasons with the club.

Vialli helped Sampdoria reach the 1992 European Cup final but after losing to Barcelona, he moved to Juventus for a then world record fee of £12m. Vialli spent four seasons with Juve, winning the Champions League, Uefa Cup and Serie A titles.

Vialli joined Chelsea on a free transfer in 1996 and became player-manager in 1998 – the first Italian to manage a Premier League side, taking over from the sacked Ruud Gullit late in the season – and went on to lead the Blues to victory in the League Cup, Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup and Uefa Super Cup.

He also guided Chelsea to victory in the 2000 FA Cup final and Charity Shield but was sacked early in the following season after a poor start.