Chelsea legend Vialli serenades Italy squad after joining national team while battling cancer – The Sun
CHELSEA legend Gianluca Vialli has serenaded the Italian national team after becoming their new chief delegate – despite still battling cancer.
The iconic striker, 55, will work alongside former Sampdoria teammate Roberto Mancini in a role unfilled since Gigi Riva’s retirement in 2013.
It's believed that Vialli will help young players on the national scene while also providing assistance to pal Mancini.
And Italian football fans hope the pair can guide Italy to glory at next year’s European Championship finals after qualification was sealed last month.
The country suffered World Cup heartbreak when they missed out on a place in Russia 18 months ago.
But after winning all eight of their Euro qualifiers, scoring 25 goals and conceding just three in the process, Mancini’s men have now been boosted by the addition of former Azzurri striker Vialli.
That’s despite the serial winner’s ongoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, which he made public last year after being diagnosed in 2017.
However, that hasn’t stopped Vialli from continuing to put a smile on others’ faces.
And a brilliant video filmed by Leonardo Bonucci showed the new Italy chief singing the classic “La Canzone del Sole” by Lucio Battisti during a break from training at the national team's HQ in Florence.
Accompanied by two guitarists, Vialli quickly got the crowd going as others joined in with the fun.
And morale is sure to be high going into Friday’s clash against Bosnia, before the Italians host Armenia next Monday.
Vialli is regarded as one of the best-ever forwards from his country, scoring 16 goals in 59 games for the Azzurri.
He made his name with Sampdoria, where he won the 1991 Serie A title, three Italian Cups, one Italian Super Cup and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Vialli was later snapped up by Juventus, where he landed another Serie A title, another Italian Cup, another Italian Super Cup, the 1993 UEFA Cup and the 1996 Champions League.
Vialli ended his career in England with Chelsea, becoming player-manager to win the 1997 FA Cup before scooping the UEFA Super Cup, the English League Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup a year later.
Reflecting on his cancer battle, Vialli said: “Since March I have been undergoing other treatments.
“I must be in a good physical and mental condition to face this challenge.
“I’m fine now, I’m continuing the treatment. We must have patience, it is harder than one could hope for.
“But the results are positive and it makes no sense for me not to continue living a normal life.”
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