When was Gianluca Vialli ill and what happened to the former Chelsea striker?

GIANLUCA VIALLI is a legend in Italian football and at Stamford Bridge.

The former goalscorer was one of the most feared strikers in Europe when he moved from European champions Juventus to Chelsea in 1996.

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In fact, his signing was one of those that sparked the Premier League revolution, making it one the international powerhouse league we know today.

He also managed the Blues, as well as Watford in his only two managerial appointments.

But the affable bearded ace has had a tough time in his personal life, where he has been battling cancer.

When was Gianluca Vialli's ill and what was the diagnosis?

Vialli, 56, revealed in November 2018 he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He underwent chemotherapy and about 18 months later announced he was all clear of the disease.

Honest Vialli told RAI 1: "I cannot fight with cancer because I would not be able to win this battle, it is a much stronger opponent than me.

"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."

What is his role with the Italy team at Euro 2020?

Vialli has been friends with Azzurri manager Roberto Mancini since their time together at Sampdoria.

After his cancer diagnosis, former Manchester City boss Mancini offered Vialli the chance to join up with the national team as their chief delegation officer.

Also part of Mancini's coaching team is former Juventus and Crystal Palace star Attilio Lombardo.

Chelsea fans were delighted to see Vialli celebrating wildly at Wembley during Italy's extra-time win over Austria at Euro 2020.

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