On January 6th, 2022, Gianluca Vialli passed away. The Italian international was widely successful during his playing days in his home country, where he won every trophy possible in Italian club football. He then went on to enjoy a plethora of success at Chelsea as a player and then as the clubs manager. He then enjoyed success alongside Roberto Manchini with Gil Azzuri. Read on to learn more about Gianluca Vialli’s best moments.
Gianluca Vialli’s Best Moments
Where it all began
Vialli was born in northern Italy in a city called Cremona. He was born into a wealthy family in a castle outside of Milan alongside four older siblings. His father was a self-made millionaire, and this work ethic and desire to succeed radiated out of Luca throughout his career.
At the age of 16, Vialli’s football journey accelerated, and he signed for Cremonese, his local team. They were a third-tier team, but his talent shone through, which led to him joining Serie A team Sampdoria. During his time at i Blucerchiati, he formed a lethal partnership with Roberto Manchini, which led to them being affectionately called “The Goal Twins” for their scoring exploits in Serie A. Their partnership was a catalyst for the club winning its first league title in the 1990-91 season.
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Vialli was a vital part of Sampdoria’s historic Serie A winning team. They finished 5 points clear of Internazionale, and Luca memorably scored 19 goals that season, which won him the golden boot. Despite the wonderful league season, i Blucerchiati heartbreakingly lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the European Cup final at Wembley. After this memorable season, he joined Juventus for a then-world-record transfer fee of £12.5 million.
During his time in Turin, Vialli enjoyed great success. Juventus won the 1993 Uefa Cup, which was followed by him captaining the club to double glory, winning Serie A and the Italian Cup. The 1996 Champions League final was the icing on the cake for Vialli’s time in Juventus, which saw him captain the Old Lady to a penalty shoot-out triumph over Ajax. This triumph was undoubtedly one of Vialli’s best moments.
Gianluca Vialli’s Best Moments at Chelsea
In his early 30s, Vialli decided to join the revolution at Chelsea. His captivating personality and ability on the pitch quickly made him a popular figure at Stamford Bridge, with the fans adoring Luca and his colleagues equally enamoured by the Italian.
He impressed as a player during his time at Stamford Bridge, scoring 40 goals in 87 appearances in all competitions. His most impressive moments included four goals in a 6-0 demolition of Barnsley. He also memorably scored two goals in the snow against Tromso, which gave Chelsea two vital away goals in Europe. Vialli was also a catalyst for the clubs phenomenal 4-2 comeback win against Liverpool in the 1996-97 FA Cup 4th round, scoring two goals.
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Following the sacking of Ruud Gullit, Vialli was named Chelsea player-manager. During his time in the managerial hot-seat at Stamford Bridge, he won five trophies in three years. He helped the club win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, League Cup and UEFA Super Cup. They also qualified for the Champions League, which involved a memorable Dennis Wise goal in the San Siro, taking Chelsea into the knockout stages of the competition.
Heartbreakingly for Vialli and the clubs’ fans, he parted ways with the club in September 2000, having just won the FA Cup in May 2000 and a morale-boosting win at Wembley against Manchester United in the Charity Shield.
Watford and the Italian National Team
After his departure from Chelsea, Vialli managed Watford and worked as a TV football pundit for Sky Italia. In 2019, Vialli took on the role of delegation chief for the Italy national team, working alongside his close friend Roberto Manchini, reuniting The Goal Twins partnership. They once again worked their magic as Gil Azzuri defeated England 3-2 on penalties in the UEFA Euro 2020 final.
Vialli was loved by many because of his charisma, passion, and love for the game. Anyone that saw him play will testify to what an exceptional player he was. He inspired a generation on the pitch and inspired millions off the pitch with his heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. He was an individual who was adored by many, no matter which club they supported. He may be gone, but the memories Vialli has given us will never be forgotten.