Italy national team boss Roberto Mancini has mourned the loss of his former teammate Gianluca Vialli, saying that he lost ‘another brother’ days after the demise of the great Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Vialli, who enjoyed one of the best periods of his career with Mancini at Sampdoria, also starred at Juventus, Cremonese and Chelsea. He won Serie A with both Samp and the Bianconeri and lost the battle to pancreatic cancer at 58.
Vialli was Mancini’s assistant during Italy’s Euro 2020 win in 2021 and the Azzurri boss recently spoke to La Repubblica about the demise of his close friend and former teammate.
The Italian said: “He was a little brother, as I loved to call him. We met when we were 16 and we never left each other again.”
He further stated, recounting the last time he met Vialli in London: “He was out of strength, with little voice, but very lucid. A lion to the last. We talked about everything and he even asked me how the December camp with the national team’s youth went. A few days after Sinisa’s farewell , I lost another brother.”
La Repubblica also spoke to Mancini’s mother Marianna Puolo and she revealed that he had been accepted into their family almost like a son.
“Gianluca was like a son to me, obviously without taking anything away from his mother who is suffering so much right now. Everyone knows of the strong bond that has always united my son to Gianluca, the pain we have is immense and I dare not imagine what his family members are feeling. We have followed Gianluca together with Roberto since his days at Sampdoria, we have practically seen him grow, at the moment it is also difficult to find the words.”
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN