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Top facts about Gianluca Vialli, one of the Goal Twins

Sun 29 May 2022 | 4:30

Gianluca Vialli was the beloved and good-luck symbol of Italy at Euro 2020. Read on to find out more facts about Gianluca Vialli.

Gianluca Vialli Commendatore OMR (born 9 July 1964) is a former Italian football manager and forward.

Gianluca Vialli’s age

is 57. Here you can find out the most important facts about Gianluca Vialli, the Italian former football manager and player.

Vialli began his professional career in 1980 with Cremonese in his home Italy, where he made 105 league games and scored 23 goals.

His achievements drew Sampdoria to recruit him in 1984, and he went on to score 85 league goals and win three Italian cups, including the Serie A and the European Cup Winners Cup. In 1992, Vialli moved to Juventus for a world record £12.5 million.

He won the Italian Cup, Serie A, Italian Supercup, UEFA Champions League, and UEFA Cup during this period. Vialli joined

Chelsea

in 1996 and was named player manager the following year. He won the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners Cup, and UEFA Super Cup while in England.

He is one of only nine footballers in history to have won all three major European club competitions, and the only forward to do so.

He is also the only player in European football history to have won both the winner's and runner's up medals in all three major European club competitions, including two winners medals for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

Vialli represented Italy in two FIFA World Cups, one in 1986 and the other in 1990, both on home soil. He also played in UEFA Euro 1988, when he helped his country to the semi-finals and was named to the tournament's best team.

Top facts about Gianluca Vialli:

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he scored 259 goals at club level, 16 goals for the national team, and 11 goals for the Italy national under-21 football team throughout his twenty-year professional football career, totaling 286 goals in over 500 games, making him the ninth greatest scoring Italian player in all competitions.

Gianluca Vialli early life

Regarding

Gianluca Vialli’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he was raised with his four siblings in the 60-room Castello di Belgioioso in Cremona, the son of a self-made billionaire. There is no more informationavailasble regarding

Gianluca Vialli’s parents

.

Vialli began his career in 1980 with hometown team Cremonese in Serie C1, where he won promotion to Serie B. He was traded to Sampdoria after scoring ten goals for the team in the 1983–84 Serie B season.

Gianluca Vialli personal life

Vialli and Cathryn White-Cooper have two children, Olivia and Sofia, and have been married since August 26, 2003.

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he enjoys golf and has competed in the Dunhill Links Championship pro-am. Vialli still lives in London's SW6 district, 20 years after leaving Chelsea F.C. Vialli announced in November 2018 that he has beaten pancreatic cancer after a year-long struggle.

He was sent to the Royal Marsden Hospital for treatment. On April 13, 2020, it was announced that he had been given the all-clear from pancreatic cancer, which he had been battling for 17 months. He stated that he was facing pancreatic cancer for the second time on December 21, 2021.

Gianluca Vialli professional career

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he has worked in management, punditry, and formerly as a Sky Sport Italia analyst since retiring. He is presently a delegation head for the Italy national football team's non-playing personnel.

Gianluca Vialli club career

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he earned the moniker The Goal Twins after forming a prolific striking tandem with colleague and boyhood friend

Roberto Mancini

at Sampdoria ("I Gemelli del Gol", in Italian).

Sampdoria

Sampdoria enjoyed its most successful period in its history when Vialli was at his peak. In the 1990–91 season, they won their first ever Serie A title, with Vialli scoring 19 goals and celebrating many of them with a backflip, including one against Inter, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1990), where he scored both goals in a 2–0 win over Anderlecht in the final.

Juventus

Vialli joined

Juventus

for a world record cost of £12.5 million immediately after the 1992 European Cup final defeat.

Under Giovanni Trapattoni, Vialli won the UEFA Cup in his debut season with Juventus, among players such as

Roberto Baggio

, Pierluigi Casiraghi, Paolo Di Canio, and Andreas Möller, among others.

An important

fact about Gianluca Vialli

is that he undertook an aggressive fitness and muscle-strengthening training routine when manager Marcello Lippi arrived, in order to drop weight and increase speed, agility, physical strength, and stamina.

Vialli rediscovered his goalscoring form throughout the season, and through his leadership and decisive performances, he helped Juventus win the Scudetto (his second overall) and the Italian Cup in 1995, scoring 16 goals; the club also narrowly missed out on a treble after losing in the 1995 UEFA Cup Final to Parma, despite Vialli scoring a spectacular second leg goal.

In 1996, he captained the team to a Supercoppa Italiana title and a Champions League final victory against reigning champions AFC Ajax, alongside Del Piero and Fabrizio Ravanelli. He made 102 appearances for the club in four seasons, scoring 38 goals.

Chelsea

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he joined Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer of 1996 as part of manager Ruud Gullit's reconstruction of the team. Vialli easily adjusted to life in London because to his command of the English language and usage of idioms.

In Vialli's debut season, the squad won the FA Cup, with the Italian scoring two goals in a 4–2 comeback victory against Liverpool in the fourth round. However, due to a dispute with Gullit, he was often kept out of the starting lineup, and his presence in the final was restricted to a five-minute cameo.

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he scored four goals in a league victory against Barnsley and a hat-trick against Norwegian team Troms in the Cup Winners' Cup during the 1997–98 season, but he was unable to secure his position in the squad under Gullit.

Following Gullit's dismissal in early 1998, Vialli became a player-manager, winning the Cup Winners' Cup and the League Cup in 1998. Following these triumphs, he won the UEFA Super Cup 1–0 against UEFA Champions League champions

Real Madrid

.

Vialli left professional playing at the conclusion of the 1998–99 season to concentrate on his role as manager of Chelsea.

He made his last appearance for Chelsea in the 1998–99 Premier League season, scoring the game-winning goal against Derby County at Stamford Bridge.

Gianluca Vialli international playing career

Vialli represented Italy in the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championships in 1984 and 1986, when the Azzurrini finished third and second, respectively.

An important fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he scored 11 goals in 20 appearances for the Italy U21 squad. He also scored four goals at the 1986 Under-21 European Championship, which Italy lost on penalties to Spain in the final.

In a friendly match against Poland in 1985, Vialli made his senior squad debut for Italy. He was named to Italy's team for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, and he made four appearances as a substitute with an all-shaved head.

In a UEFA Euro 1988 qualifier against Malta in 1986, Vialli scored his first goal for Italy. He was named to Italy's team for the Euro 1988 championships, where he scored the game-winning goal against Spain in the group stage.

Despite the fact that Italy was eliminated in the semi-finals after losing 0–2, Vialli was nominated to UEFA's team of the tournament.

A notable fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he was chosen to the squad for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted on home soil, and he was anticipated to have a big impression for the hosts

Vialli missed a penalty against the United States in the second match, hitting the lower near post with goalie Tony Meola diving the other way, after failing to score in the first match against Austria despite setting up the winning goal through a cross.

He was then replaced by Roberto Baggio and Salvatore Schillaci, who had scored the game-winning goal against Austria after coming in as a substitute.

A notable

fact about Gianluca Vialli

is that he returned to the squad for the semi-final against

Argentina

, and his attempt on goal was stopped by Argentina goalkeeper Goycochea, and the rebound went to Schillaci, who scored Italy's first goal. He was replaced in the second half as Italy was ousted on penalties and finished third in the competition.

Vialli wore the number 21 at the World Cup because Italy assigned shirt numbers alphabetically to players (starting with defenders, then midfielders, and lastly attackers). He ended the tournament with two assists, both of which were for golden boot winner Schilacci.

Under Vicini, Vialli returned to spearhead Italy's attack in the Euro 1992 qualifying games, scoring in 3–1 victories over Hungary and 2–0 victories over Cyprus. However, Italy failed to qualify after coming second in Group 3 behind the Soviet Union.

Despite his club success in the 1990s, Vialli's international career was cut short owing to a difficult relationship with Coach

Arrigo Sacchi

, which ended his international career prematurely.

Vialli is said to have pulled a joke on Sacchi, which led to his expulsion from the national squad. Vialli appeared in 59 games for Italy, scoring 16 goals.

Gianluca Vialli coaching career

In February 1998, Gullit was fired as Chelsea manager, and Vialli, 33, was named player-manager, making him the first Italian to coach in the Premier League.

Chelsea

Chelsea were already in the League Cup semi-finals and the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals when Vialli took over, winning both tournaments and finished fourth in the Premier League.

A notable fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he became the youngest manager to ever win a UEFA tournament when he defeated VfB Stuttgart in the Cup Winners' Cup final on May 13, 1998, at the age of 33 years and 308 days.

The record held for thirteen years until André Villas-Boas of FC Porto won the Europa League at the age of 33 years and 213 days on May 18, 2011.

Chelsea won the UEFA Super Cup by defeating Real Madrid 1–0 the following season, and finished third in the Premier League, just four points behind champions Manchester United.

It was Chelsea's best league finish since 1970, and perhaps their most serious attempt to win a league title since 1955.

Ending his Chelsea career with 83 games and 40 goals, Vialli made his last competitive appearance against Derby County at the conclusion of that season (a game in which he scored).

Chelsea made their debut in the UEFA Champions League the following season, reaching the quarter-finals.

After a 3–1 first-leg victory against Barcelona, they were eliminated 4–6 on aggregate after a 5–1 return leg defeat in extra time at Camp Nou.

Despite finishing fifth in the Premier League, Vialli led Chelsea to victory against Aston Villa in the 2000 FA Cup final, and the season finished on a high note.

Chelsea won the Charity Shield against Manchester United in the 2000–01 season, becoming Vialli the club's most successful manager at the time.

After a shaky start and falling out with numerous players, notably Gianfranco Zola,

Didier Deschamps

, and Dan Petrescu, Vialli was fired five games into the season.

Watford

In 2001–02, Vialli accepted an opportunity to manage Watford in the First Division. Despite making significant and costly changes to the players and coaching staff, Hertfordshire ended a disappointing 14th, and Vialli was fired after only one season.

Following this, he became embroiled in a protracted legal battle with the club for the remaining balance of his contract.

Gianluca Vialli style of play

Vialli was a complete, dynamic, determined, and versatile forward who could play anywhere along the front line; throughout his career, he was played on the wing or in a deeper, supporting role, but his preferred position was in the center as a main striker, where he could best take advantage of his offensive movement and opportunism inside the box, as well as his keen eye.

A notable fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he was a prolific striker recognized for his shooting strength and precision with both feet and head, allowing him to convert opportunities both inside and outside the penalty area.

Vialli's good vision, tactical intelligence, and distribution also saw him play in deeper roles in midfield, as a playmaker or attacking midfielder; he was also endowed with good technical ability, dribbling skills, and ball control, which allowed him to play the ball first time, or beat opponents and retain possession uncontested.

A notable

fact about Gianluca Vialli

is that he was a quick, tenacious, hardworking, and energetic player who possessed speed, physicality, and stamina. He was also known for his willingness to press opponents off the ball in order to reclaim possession.

In Italian football, Vialli was regarded as a new breed of striker who combined technique and goalscoring ability with speed, athleticism, and physical power.

He excelled in the air due to his outstanding athleticism, strength, and agility, and had a penchant for scoring acrobatic goals from volleys and bicycle kicks, prompting his Juventus manager Marcello Lippi and President Gianni Agnelli to praise him and compare him to legendary Italian striker Gigi Riva at the time.

He was admired for his dedication, leadership qualities, strong mentality, and charismatic influence on the field, in addition to his footballing abilities.

Along with countrymen Roberto Baggio and Franco Baresi, Treccani's Marino Bortoletti praised Vialli as a "modern striker, blessed with force and flair," and as "the most emblematic player of his time."

Gianluca Vialli media career

Vialli co-wrote The Italian Job: A Journey to the Heart of Two Great Footballing Cultures with Gabriele Marcotti, a personal friend and respected football writer, in 2006.

The book, which was written over a two-and-a-half-year period from November 2003 to early 2006, compares and contrasts English and Italian football. He also credits his proclivity for playing as a wide attacker to growing up on a small and wide pitch.

Vialli is giving the book's revenues to the "Fondazione Vialli e Mauro per la ricerca e lo sport," a charity foundation he co-founded with former player Massimo Mauro to generate cash for cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research (ALS).

A notable fact about Gianluca Vialli is that he has been a Sky Italia football analyst since the late 2000s. Following the club's ownership by Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone and the departure of John Gregory as manager in 2007, he was connected with the manager's post at Queens Park Rangers, but he finally rejected. He was a commentator for the BBC's coverage of Euro 2012 throughout the tournament.

With ex-Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs investment banker Fausto Zanetton, Vialli co-founded sports investing platform Tifosy, with the goal of enabling everyone to invest in professional sports.

Vialli was named as the new delegation leader of the Italy national football team in October 2019, after Gigi Riva, who retired in 2013. Vialli will work under head coach and personal friend Roberto Mancini (a former colleague and hitting partner of his at Sampdoria).

Italy won the UEFA Euro 2020 on July 11, 2021, following a 3–2 penalty shootout victory against

England

in the final after a 1–1 draw in extra time.

Gianluca Vialli’s Chelsea legacy

Ruud Gullit turned on the television in February 1998, punched the Teletext button, and there it was: the news that no one – not even him – anticipated. Gullit was fired as Chelsea's player-manager just nine months after the team won its first major title in 26 years.

He had received no previous notice or explanation — at least not yet. His successor was unveiled just a few hours later. As if the news wasn't shocking enough, the guy who took his place was Gianluca Vialli, one of his teammates.

This was the pinnacle of sports soap operas, the late-90s west London football equivalent of EastEnders' major revelation of Phil Mitchell's shooter.

Gullit must have felt like he was being stabbed in the back. Chelsea's choice paid off in the end, marking yet another turning moment in a successful period that is now indelibly connected with an exquisite, gleaming-headed, larger-than-life Italian attacker-turned-coach.

Vialli had joined the club on a free transfer in the summer of 1996. He was a fantastic find. He was a footballing nobleman both metaphorically and practically, having grown up in a 60-room castle, and had just won the European Cup as captain of Juventus a few weeks before joining.

Nonetheless, he was at Stamford Bridge, with a Chelsea that was nothing like the Chelsea of today, embracing the Premier League's international revolution.

Gullit had recently been named player-manager, and the squad was to include Dan Petrescu, Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo, and Frank Leboeuf, who had signed Vialli. To replace the chips-and-gravy fare that had before it, there was vibrant and continental Prosecco football.

Chelsea won the FA Cup that season, thanks to Di Matteo's memorable goal, which gave the Blues the advantage against Middlesbrough's Juninho and Ravanelli. However, Vialli's campaign had more lows than highs for him.

He'd scored a fantastic winner at Old Trafford and two goals in a dramatic FA Cup fourth round clash against

Liverpool

. Chelsea supporters flocked to him right away, singing his song to the tune of 'That's Amore.'

However, Vialli was entangled in a disagreement with Gullit for most of the season, and he was often benched in favor of Mark Hughes and Zola in attack.

Vialli scored four goals in an away game against Barnsley the next season, earning him a backhanded praise from his boss. "He seemed to be in better shape and had quit smoking," Gullit claimed.

Vialli further cemented his place as a terrace hero with a dominant performance in the Cup Winners' Cup against Tromso, scoring two away goals in a Norwegian snowstorm and a hat-trick at home as Chelsea advanced 9-3 on aggregate.

However, the Vialli-Gullit relationship remained tense, and Vialli is reported in the book Blue Day as stating, "I was playing more, but I was irritated with the rotation system, which didn't really make sense.

I was contemplating leaving. I was thinking of my buddy Atillio Lombardo, who was at

Crystal Palace

, but also Celtic and Glasgow Rangers."

But he persisted, and things started to move in the background. Gullit's contract was scheduled to expire at the conclusion of the season, and Chelsea director Colin Hutchinson said Gullit had approached the club asking for a salary of £3.3 million for the next season, a claim Gullit subsequently refuted.

Chelsea, in any event, were on the lookout for a new guy. An agency contacted Vialli and asked if he would consider taking over the campaign at the conclusion. He subsequently commented, "That was intriguing." It was, of course. And it was his involvement that put the last nail in Gullit's Chelsea coffin.

The Dutchman was gone days later, with Chelsea second in the league and into the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup and the semi-finals of the League Cup. Vialli had been lined up as his successor.

The drama was dramatic – but Vialli's choice to stay had paid off, and over the next two years, he established himself as a vital role in the club's recent history, not as a bit-part player.

In terms of both management style and outcome, his first game in command was a preview of what was to come. Chelsea had already lost the first leg of their League Cup semi-final against Arsenal, losing 2-1 at Highbury. They needed a significant boost in the second game.

Vialli's response? He opened open a couple of bottles of champagne in the locker room before the game and delivered a drink to each of the players.

Vialli began with Hughes and Zola in a front three, and Chelsea produced a grand cru performance, scoring three goals in the first hour. With 10 minutes remaining, Vialli substituted himself off to a rousing ovation.

Chelsea's league play deteriorated in the weeks that followed. The cups, however, were the center of attention. Vialli's team thrashed Real Betis 5-2 on aggregate in the Cup Winners' Cup quarterfinals, with Vialli sitting on the bench for both matches.

He did the same in the League Cup final that followed, without even coming in as a substitute. As Di Matteo hammered in an early pile driver to set up a 2-1 victory, it was evident that he was willing to put the team ahead of himself.

Chelsea won the Cup Winners' Cup in May, beating Vicenza in the semi-finals and Stuttgart in the final in Stockholm, thanks to a Gianfranco Zola goal.

The next season was Vialli's last as a player, and it began with another trophy, the UEFA Super Cup, which he won against Real Madrid. The thrills, on the other hand, continued throughout. Chelsea were in a serious championship race, finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time, thanks to a brilliant Zola.

They reached the quarter-finals of Europe's biggest tournament, beating Barcelona 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on a memorable night before losing 5-1 at the Camp Nou. Vialli helped the team win another trophy in May, this time the FA Cup, with another Di Matteo goal.

His dismissal after five games of the next season was so unexpected - possibly even more so than his predecessor's.

They had a bad start in the league, but Vialli had guided them to the Charity Shield and was the most successful manager in Chelsea history at the time. He was a tremendous hit with the fans, and his name was still being shouted on the terraces months after he left.

He explained his dismissal in 2019: "I traveled from the training site to attend the board, and when I got, they instructed me to sit down." I was considering how much money I should want, one or two million pounds.

'You once warned me that after three years, you either had to remove the manager or all the players,' Colin Hutchinson stated instead. We made the decision to replace the management.' Vialli remained in west London and continues to be well-known for reasons other than his awards.

Vialli epitomized the new inspirations and energy at Chelsea throughout his tenure there. He was admired for his demeanor, which included an absorbing and original sense of elegance and style, gregariousness, and amusing efforts at employing English idioms.

It was no surprise that when Vialli was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, Chelsea fans rallied behind him.

It's also worth considering if Chelsea's post-Vialli period would have been as successful without him. Chelsea has progressed to become a European superclub in this century, with significant financial help.

But, if Vialli hadn't brought the good times back to the Bridge, would Roman Abramovich have even considered the Blues? We'll never know since it's a hypothetical, but Vialli's influence should not be underestimated.

Gianluca Vialli social media

Regarding

Gianluca Vialli social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@lucavialli

) with 356k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him along with his fans and family.

Gianluca Vialli body measurements

Speaking about

Gianluca Vialli body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 180cm and 77kg.

Gianluca Vialli net worth and salary

Gianluca Vialli's net worth

is estimated to be around $5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

 

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