John Terry pays tribute to Gianluca Vialli amid the former Chelsea boss’ second battle with cancer

John Terry pays tribute to Gianluca Vialli after his former Chelsea boss stepped down from Italy’s coaching staff to focus on his second battle with cancer, as he sends a message of support to ‘the man who gave me my debut and believed in me’

  • Gianluca Vialli has left his role as Italy coach amid his second battle with cancer
  • The former Azzurri striker was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017
  • He received the all clear the following year and then helped Italy win Euro 2020
  • But after being told the cancer had returned in 2021, Vialli has pulled out
  • John Terry has expressed his support for his old Chelsea boss on social media
  • The ex-Blues captain sent his best wishes to Vialli as he looks to overcome the illness

John Terry has sent a message of support to Gianluca Vialli after the former Chelsea player and manager left Italy’s coaching staff to focus on his second battle with cancer.

Vialli, 58, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in 2017, before revealing he had beaten the disease in November of the following year, then receiving the all clear 18 months later.

The ex-Italy striker was able to help his country triumph at Euro 2020 as a member of Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff, but last December he was told the cancer had returned.

Gianluca Vialli has resigned as coach of Italy

John Terry (L) has expressed his support for Gianluca Vialli (R) amid his second battle with cancer

As a result, he has taken the decision to step down from his role with the national team with immediate effect to give himself the best chance to recover for a second time.

Tributes have poured in for Vialli since he announced his retirement this week, with Terry becoming the latest high-profile figure to pay tribute to him.

The former Chelsea captain, who was given his debut for the club by Vialli, posted a photo of his old gaffer on Twitter and wrote: ‘Sending my love and best wishes to Gianluca Vialli.

“The man who gave me my debut and believed in me.”

Vialli has resigned from Roberto Mancini's coaching staff in Italy to focus on beating it

Vialli has resigned from Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff in Italy to focus on beating it

Terry sent a message of support to his former Chelsea boss on Twitter following the news

Terry sent a message of support to his former Chelsea boss on Twitter following the news

Vialli gave Terry his debut at Stamford Bridge during his stint as Blues player-manager

Vialli gave Terry his debut at Stamford Bridge during his stint as Blues player-manager

Terry made his breakthrough from Chelsea’s academy during Vialli’s initial spell as player manager at Chelsea in 1998.

It came after he had scored 40 goals in 88 games for the West London club, and before a one-year spell solely as manager after hanging up his boots.

Speaking about his decision to step down from his role in Italy, Vialli said this week: “At the end of a long and difficult ‘negotiation’ with my wonderful team of oncologists, I have decided to suspend, I hope temporarily, my present and future professional obligations.

Vialli played a key role in Italy's Euro 2020 triumph after initially overcoming pancreatic cancer

Vialli played a key role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph after initially overcoming pancreatic cancer

“The goal is to use all the psycho-physical energies to help my body overcome this phase of the disease, so that as soon as possible I will be able to face new adventures and share them with you all.”

Gabriele Gravina, President of the Italian Football Confederation (FIGC) added: “Gianluca is an absolute protagonist for the Italian national team and will be so in the future.

“Thanks to his extraordinary strength of spirit, the Azzurri and the devotion of the entire Federal family, I am convinced that he will soon return.

“He can trust each one of us, because we are a team, on and off the field.”

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