WATCH: Chelsea players pay tribute to the late Gianluca Vialli, wear number 9 kit during warm up ahead of City match

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Chelsea paid tribute to the former Italy international and London club player, Gianluca Vialli, who passed away last week after a bout with pancreatic cancer. The London club players wore Vialli’s number nine kit during the warm-up ahead of the FA Cup match against Manchester City on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, in their first training session following the demise of Vialli, the club players had observed a moment of silence in memory of the Italian as the two teams playing on Sunday would at the Etihad Stadium. Vialli had featured in 58 games across competitions for Chelsea and scored 21 of his 167 club career goals during the same.

Having played at Cremonese, Sampdoria and Juventus, Vialli moved to Chelsea in 1996 and finished his playing career with the English Premier League club in 1999.

After Ruud Gullit was sacked as manager in February 1998, Vialli apart from being an active player at the club, also assumed the responsibility as a manager, becoming the first Italian to manager a Premier League club.

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In 1999, he would retire as a player to focus on his managerial career. One that crescendoed in the summer of 2021 as he assistant managed Italy to a perfect Euros win, also extending the team’s unbeaten record since he took the gig in 2019 alongside Roberto Mancini as the head coach.

Vialli stepped down from his role later that year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.


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