Former Watford manager and Juventus and Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli has died at the age of 58 after he was re-diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2021.
Vialli had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and was given the all-clear in 2020, but in December took temporary leave from his role with Italy’s national team due to his ill health.
Vialli is one of only nine footballers to have won all three main European club competitions, winning the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, and UEFA Cup Winners Cup, alongside countless other trophies.
He won the Serie A title with Sampdoria and helped them reach the 1992 European Cup final, which they would lose to Ajax. He also played 59 times for Italy, playing in two FIFA World Cups in 1986 and 1990.
His time at Watford came about following a period managing Chelsea, where he became the youngest manager to ever win a UEFA competition when he won the Cup Winner’s Cup against VfB Stuttgart aged 33. The Hornets finished in 14th in the 2001/02 season, and Vialli was dismissed.
A spokesperson for Watford FC said: “All at Watford FC are saddened to learn of the passing of our former manager Gianluca Vialli. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Italian Football Federation 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.”