Friday, January 27, 2023

Conte posts heartfelt tribute to ´lion´ Vialli after death of former team-mate

SoccerNews in Serie A 6 Jan 2023

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Antonio Conte has joined those paying tribute to Gianluca Vialli with a heartfelt social media post, describing his former Juventus team-mate as a “lion” and “an inspiration”.

Vialli’s passing at the age of 58 was confirmed on Friday, with the former striker having been re-diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2021 after being given the all-clear the previous year.

Conte played with Vialli throughout the latter’s four-year spell with Juventus between 1992 and 1996, helping the Bianconeri win the Champions League in Vialli’s final season with the club, during which he was club captain.

Conte took to Instagram on Friday to share a recent image of the pair dining together, alongside the caption: “Having dinner together in London a few months ago as we had fun remembering all our adventures and battles on the field.

“Unfortunately, in these last few years you had to fight a great and terrible battle in life.

“I told you and wrote that you have always been an inspiration to me as my captain and for how you were proving to be strong, proud and brave, fighting like a lion against this disease.

“Always in my heart my friend. Goodbye Gianluca.”

Vialli spent much of his playing career at Sampdoria before joining Juventus in 1992, winning one Scudetto, one Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup in addition to the Bianconeri’s 1996 continental triumph.

He then left the club for Chelsea, where he eventually took over as manager, with Conte succeeding him as Juventus captain upon his departure.

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