Roberto Mancini has paid an emotional tribute to ‘little brother’ Gianluca Vialli – who passed away on Friday at the age of 58. 

Vialli lost his long battle with cancer on Friday sparking a wave of emotional tributes from across the football landscape. The former Italy, Juventus and Chelsea striker touched many lives in football, though perhaps none as pertinently as Mancini, also 58. 

He had been given the all clear in April 2020 but tragically it returned.  

Roberto Mancini paid an emotional tribute to his 'little brother' Gianluca Vialli who passed away aged 58

Roberto Mancini paid an emotional tribute to his 'little brother' Gianluca Vialli who passed away aged 58

Roberto Mancini paid an emotional tribute to his ‘little brother’ Gianluca Vialli who passed away aged 58 

The two were team-mates at Sampdoria from a very young age. The club reached its zenith when they reached the final of the Champions League in 1992, but they were narrowly beaten by Barcelona – both Mancini and Vialli were part of the side that day and they would avenge their Wembley heartbreak together some 29 years later.  

Speaking Corriere Dello Sport in the aftermath of his friend’s tragic passing, Mancini hailed his character and revealed that he had visited him only a week prior by which point Vialli was ‘powerless, with little voice’ but remained ‘very lucid’.

At Sampdoria, they were nicknamed ‘the goal twins’ for their proficiency at the top of the pitch. While Vialli left for Juventus shortly after the defeat to Barcelona in 1992, they remained close. 

Vialli and Mancini were inseparable from an early age - nicknamed the 'Goal Twins' at Sampdoria

Vialli and Mancini were inseparable from an early age - nicknamed the 'Goal Twins' at Sampdoria

Vialli and Mancini were inseparable from an early age – nicknamed the ‘Goal Twins’ at Sampdoria  

Vialli joined Mancini’s Italy coaching staff in 2019 and they enjoyed success together as their side beat England in the final of Euro 2020. 

‘We met at 16 years old and never left each other’s side,’ said Mancini. ‘Italy’s youth and senior teams, Samp, the highs, the lows, the victories and the defeats.

‘Those two nights at Wembley – many years ago we cried with pain and bitterness, and then we cried with joy as though we were united by destiny before he passed away.

‘He played a key role in us winning the European Championship. The players loved him.’

‘Gianluca gave us courage that we didn’t know and which he used to fight his illness so hard that he managed to be with us as long as he possibly could,’ added Mancini.

‘Gianluca was the best of us, a perfect, courageous man. It was a privilege to be his friend, his team-mate in football and life.’

Vialli’s death comes just weeks after the passing of AC Milan and Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, who died at the age of 53 having been diagnosed with leukaemia some three years prior. 

Vialli joined Mancini's Italy coaching staff in 2019 and they tasted success together at Wembley

Vialli joined Mancini's Italy coaching staff in 2019 and they tasted success together at Wembley

Vialli joined Mancini’s Italy coaching staff in 2019 and they tasted success together at Wembley 

Mancini, who also played with Mihajlovic at Sampdoria, referenced his passing away in his tribute to Vialli. 

‘Only a few days after Sinisa passing away I’ve lost another brother, or little brother as I liked to call him,’ he said. 

Of his last encounter with Vialli late last year, Mancini revealed what he spoke about and said that he will strive to ‘dedicate something to him’, which they had been ‘dreaming of for a lifetime’. 

‘We talked a bit about everything, he even asked me about the get-together in December with the youths. He wanted to know the developments of the project.

‘With his strength, I’ll go forward to dedicate to him something relevant, which we’ve been dreaming of for a lifetime.’

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Making healthy choices for the people we care for may increase our own self-indulgence

What’s right for those we care for is often not what we…

Labelling processed foods including crisps, chocolate and ice cream as ‘addictive’ could cut obesity rates, review finds

Labelling foods such as crisps, chocolate and ice cream as ‘addictive’ could…

Britain’s verdict on royals post Kate-gate: Nearly half say trust in the Kate and William has stayed the same while Harry and Meghan are the least trusted, 51% are aware of conspiracy theories and third say Palace has released too little details

[ad_1] Nearly half of people say their trust in the Prince and…

Getting married ‘is good for your heart’: Male bachelors twice as likely to die from heart failure

A happy marriage really is the key to a longer and healthier…