After the Italian national team captain Gianluca Vialli passed away on Friday, current Italy coach Roberto Mancini recalled a recent conversation with his football friend, saying that Vialli wanted the national team Win the 2026 World Cup, and Mancini will do his best to dedicate this honor to him.
Vialli has played for Sampdoria in Serie A, Juventus in Serie A and Chelsea in the Premier League in his playing career. He is an excellent striker. After retiring, he coached Chelsea and Watford as a head coach, and also served as the head coach of the Italian national team .
According to Vialli ‘s autobiography, he has been fighting cancer for nearly a year since 2017 and is close to recovery. However, his cancer relapsed in 2021, and he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer again. Now he cannot overcome the disease and died at the age of 58.
Vialli was appointed head of the Italian delegation until last month, working closely with current coach and former Sampdoria team-mate Roberto Mancini. Mancini and Vialli were hailed as the best striker partner by Sampdoria. The two made a lot of contributions to the Italian national team after retiring.
Mancini once said that the two are perfect complements on and off the court, and he is more like an assistant role, helping one of the world’s greatest strikers and leading the national team to win the 2020 World Cup. Champions of the European Cup. Mancini also bluntly said that Vialli is his comrade in football in the interview, and also a lifelong partner and friend.
Ciao Gianluca, you will forever be remembered 💙 pic.twitter.com/5IDKMTSZaL
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) January 6, 2023
Mancini recalled the last time he went to the hospital to visit this friend. At that time, Vialli’s physical condition was not very good, which made Mancini feel very heavy and worried. But Mancini described Vialli, who was undergoing treatment, as an active fighter because “he smiled and told me when he was sober, he would try to get himself together and let me not worry.”
After Vialli passed away last Friday, Mancini revealed today the task Vialli gave him before leaving. The head of the delegation demanded that under the leadership of Mancini, the Italian national team must make greater progress in three years and win glory in the 2026 World Cup jointly hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
However, Italy failed to advance from the qualifiers in the last two sessions, and was unable to participate in the 2018 Russia World Cup and the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The last time it won the World Cup was in 2006.
When Mancini disclosed this task to the media, he did not show too much burden, but said with firm eyes that he would do his best to dedicate any future honors of the Italian team to him. Mancini also added, “Because Vialli told me that he will fight with us on the road to the 2026 World Cup championship, which makes me and the team can’t wait to carry this great game in the future. This victory is presented to this teammate who has made great contributions to the country and football.”