‘A true legend’: Fans delight in the heart-warming moment Chelsea hero Gianluca Vialli – who has been fighting pancreatic cancer – beat his chest in celebration during Italy’s win over Turkey at Euro 2020

Fans shared their joy at seeing Italy coach Gianluca Vialli looking well and in good spirits as Italy beat Turkey in the opening match of Euro 2020 on Friday.

The former Chelsea striker and manager, who is now working alonside national team boss Roberto Mancini, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 before being given the all-clear three years later.

The Azzuri produced a dominant display to earn a 3-0 victory in their first Group A fixture but supporters were just as pleased by Vialli’s presence on the sidelines as they were by the players’ performance. 

Italy coach Gianluca Vialli was in good spirits at the opening match of Euro 2020 on Friday

Italy coach Gianluca Vialli was in good spirits at the opening match of Euro 2020 on Friday

The former Chelsea striker and manager, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, took his place in the dugout alongside Roberto Mancini

The former Chelsea striker and manager, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, took his place in the dugout alongside Roberto Mancini 

One fan wrote: ‘Great to see Gianluca Vialli smiling on the bench tonight especially after the last few years he’s been through. #ChelseaFC legend!’

‘So good to see Gianluca Vialli looking so healthy on the sidelines there during the anthems,’ another supported added.

A Chelsea fan and author also said: ‘Great to see Gianluca Vialli is part of the Italian coaching team. 

‘A true legend of the game who gave Chelsea some wonderful memories. Has also been very good to me personally & supportive of my book. Wishing Luca all the very best! ‘We Love You!’’ 

Vialli was even seen beating his chest in celebration following a goal-saving tackle from Giorgio Chiellini.

The 36-year-old central defender denied Burak Yılmaz a late consolation goal and both the player and coach celebrated the tackle passionately. 

Earlier in the week, Vialli opened up on his battle with pancreatic cancer, describing it as an ‘unwanted travel companion’.

The 56-year-old accepts that the long-term effects from the cancer will remain with him but hopes he has acted as an example to other people in similar situations. 

He told RAI 1’s series Sogno Azzurro, depicting the Italian national team’s journey in Euro 2020: ‘I cannot fight with cancer because I would not be able to win this battle, it is a much stronger opponent than me. 

The Azzuri produced a dominant display to beat Turkey 3-0 in their first Group A fixture

The Azzuri produced a dominant display to beat Turkey 3-0 in their first Group A fixture

‘Cancer is an unwanted travel companion, but I can’t help it. It got on the train with me and I have to go ahead (and) travel with my head down, never giving up, hoping that one day this unwanted guest will get tired and leave peacefully for many years because there are still so many things I want to do in this life.

‘I realise that people can look at me, see that I am doing alright, and hope that they might do the same – maybe because I was a footballer and a strong man, but also fragile and vulnerable at the same time, so I think someone may have recognised themselves in this.

‘I’m here with all my faults and my many fears, but also with the desire to do something important.’ 

Italy will face Switzerland and Wales in their remaining Euro 2020 group matches. 



Daily Mail

By EDITOR

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