Gianluca Vialli: Italian footballer and manager (1964-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Gianluca Vialli
Italian footballer and manager

Gianluca Vialli

Gianluca Vialli
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Italian footballer and manager
Is Sports official Athlete Football player Association football player Journalist Association football manager
From Italy
Field Journalism Sports
Gender male
Birth 9 July 1964, Cremona
Age 58 years
Star sign Cancer
The details (from wikipedia)


Gianluca Vialli (born 9 July 1964) is an Italian football manager and former footballer who played as a striker. Since retiring, he has gone into management and punditry and is a commentator for Sky Sport Italia.
Vialli started his club career at Cremonese in 1980 in his native Italy where he made 105 league appearances scoring 23 goals. His performances impressed Sampdoria who signed him in 1984. During which time he scored 85 league goals, won 3 Italian cups, the Serie A and the European Cup Winners Cup. Vialli transferred to Juventus for a World record £12.5 million in 1992. During this time he won the Italian Cup, the Serie A, Italian Supercup, UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup. In 1996 Vialli joined Chelsea and became Chelsea player manager the following season. In England he won the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Super Cup. He is one of ten footballers to have won the three main European club competitions, and the only forward to have done so; he is also the only player in European footballing history to have both winner's and runner's up medals in all three main European club competitions.
At international level, Vialli represented Italy at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where Italy finished in third-place on home soil. He also took part at UEFA Euro 1988, helping his nation to a semi-final finish, and was elected to the team of the tournament. During his twenty years long career as a professional footballer he scored 259 goals at club level, 16 goals with the national team, and 11 goals with the Italy national under-21 football team, for a total of 286 goals in more than 500 appearances.

Club career


Vialli's career started in 1980 when, he signed for local club Cremonese in Serie C1, winning promotion to Serie B. After scoring ten goals for the club in the 1983–84 Serie B season, he was transferred to Sampdoria.


At Sampdoria he formed a prolific strike partnership with team mate and childhood friend Roberto Mancini, earning the nickname The Goal Twins. With Vialli at his best, Sampdoria had the most successful era in its history. They won their first ever Serie A championship in the 1990–91 season, in which Vialli was league top scorer with 19 goals - celebrating many of his goals with a backflip, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1990) – where he scored both goals in the 2–0 win over Anderlecht in the final (once again finishing the tournament as top-scorer), and three Italian Cups (in 1985, 1988 and 1989), also setting a record of 13 goals in a single edition of the Coppa Italia during his time at the club. They also won a Supercoppa Italiana, and reached the final of the UEFA Supercup, and the European Cup final in 1992, losing to Johann Cruyff's Barcelona "Dream Team" of Spain 1–0.


Vialli moved to Juventus shortly after the 1992 European Cup final loss for a world record fee of £12.5million. Vialli won the UEFA Cup in his first season with Juventus playing alongside Roberto Baggio. He won another Scudetto and Italian Cup with Juve in 1995, scoring 16 goals during the season, but Juve were denied a treble after defeat in the 1995 UEFA Cup Final to Parma, despite Vialli scoring a spectacular second leg goal. He ended his time in Turin by captaining the side to a Supercoppa Italiana victory and a Champions League final win over defending champions Ajax Amsterdam in 1996, playing alongside Del Piero and Fabrizio Ravanelli. During his four seasons with the club he totaled 102 appearances, scoring 38 goals.


Vialli joined Chelsea in the summer of 1996 on a free transfer as part of manager Ruud Gullit's rebuilding of the side. The team won the FA Cup in Vialli's first season, with the Italian scoring two goals in a 4–2 comeback over Liverpool in the fourth round. However, a feud with Gullit saw him regularly left out of the starting line-up; in the final itself he was limited to a five-minute appearance as a late substitute.

During the 1997–98 season, Vialli scored four goals in a league win over Barnsley and a hat-trick against Norwegian side Tromsø in the Cup Winners' Cup, but still could not cement his place in the side under Gullit. However, following Gullit's dismissal in 1998, Vialli assumed the role of a player-manager, winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1998, and the League Cup. He followed these victories up by a 1998 UEFA Super Cup victory over UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid.

Vialli retired from professional football at the end of the 1998–99 season to focus on his position as Chelsea's manager. He made his last professional appearance in Chelsea's final match of the 1998–99 Premier League, scoring the winning goal against Derby County at Stamford Bridge.

Managerial career


Gullit was sacked in February 1998 and 33-year-old Vialli was appointed player-manager, becoming the first Italian to manage in the Premier League. Chelsea were already in the semi-finals of the League Cup and the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup, and went on to win both competitions under Vialli, as well as finishing fourth in the Premier League. In beating VfB Stuttgart at the Cup Winners' Cup final on 13 May 1998, 33 years and 308 days old Vialli became the youngest manager to ever win a UEFA competition. The record stood for thirteen years until 18 May 2011 when FC Porto's André Villas-Boas won the Europa League at the age of 33 years and 213 days. Coincidentally, Villas-Boas would eventually go on to manage Chelsea.

The following season Chelsea won the European Super Cup by beating Real Madrid 1–0, and finished 3rd in the Premier League, just four points behind champions Manchester United in what was Chelsea's highest league finish since 1970, and perhaps their most serious bid to win a league title since their first title triumph in 1955. Chelsea finally won the Premier League title in 2005.

Vialli made his final competitive appearance for the club against Derby County at the end of that season (a game in which he scored), finishing his Chelsea career with 83 appearances and 40 goals.

The following season saw Chelsea reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League on their debut in the competition, the highlight of which was a 3–1 quarterfinal first leg victory over FC Barcelona, although they were eventually knocked out on aggregate following a 5–1 return leg loss at Camp Nou that needed extra time. Despite a disappointing 5th-place finish in the Premier League, the campaign ended on a high note when Vialli guided Chelsea to a win over Aston Villa in the 2000 FA Cup final.

The 2000–01 season started brightly, with Chelsea beating Manchester United to win the FA Charity Shield, Vialli's fifth official trophy with the club in less than three years, making him the club's most successful manager at the time. But Vialli was sacked five games into the season after an indifferent start and having fallen out with several players, including Gianfranco Zola, Didier Deschamps and Dan Petrescu.


Vialli then took up an offer to manage First Division club Watford in 2001–02. Despite making wholesale and expensive changes to the playing and coaching staff, the Hertfordshire side finished an unimpressive 14th and Vialli was sacked after one year. Following this, he was drawn into a lengthy dispute with the club over the payment of the remainder of his contract.[1]

International career

Vialli was a member of Italy's under 21 team for both the 1984 and 1986 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championships where the Azzurrini finished third and second respectively. Overall Vialli represented the Italy U21 team 20 times, scoring 11 goals. He was also the top scorer in the 1986 Under-21 European Championship, with 4 goals, where Italy lost the final to Spain on penalties.

In 1985, Vialli made his debut for the Italy senior team in a friendly match against Poland. He was included in Italy's squad for the 1986 FIFA World Cup held in Mexico, appearing with an all-shaved head as a substitute in all four of Italy's matches.

Vialli scored his first goal for Italy in a UEFA Euro 1988 qualifier against Malta in 1986. He was included in Italy's squad for the finals of the Euro 1988 competition and scored the winning goal against Spain in the group stage. Although Italy were knocked out by the Soviet Union in the semi-final after losing 0–2, Vialli was named in UEFA's team of the tournament.

With the 1990 FIFA World Cup being held on home soil, Vialli named part of the squad and he was expected to make a huge impact for the hosts. However, after failing to score in the first match against Austria, despite setting up the winning goal via a cross, Vialli missed a penalty against the United States in the next match, hitting the lower near post with keeper Tony Meola diving the other way. He was subsequently dropped from the team in favour of Roberto Baggio and Salvatore Schillaci, who had scored the winning goal against Austria after appearing as a substitute. Vialli returned to the team for the semi-final against Argentina and played a role in Italy's opening goal after his shot on goal was blocked by Argentina keeper Goycochea and the rebound fell to Schillaci. He was substituted in the second half as Italy were eliminated on penalties, eventually finishing the tournament in third place. Because Italy assigned jersey numbers alphabetically to players for the World Cup (beginning with defenders, then midfielders, and finally attackers) Vialli wore the number 21 during the World Cup. Overall, he finished the tournament with 2 assists, which were both provided for the golden boot winner Schilacci.

Vialli returned to lead Italy's attack during the qualifying games to the Euro 1992 Championship under Vicini, scoring in Italy's 3–1 win over Hungary and 2–0 win over Cyprus. However, Italy missed out on qualifying after finishing second behind the Soviet Union in Group 3.

Vialli made his last appearance for the Azzurri in December 1992, due to his strained relationship with coach Arrigo Sacchi bringing his international career to a premature end, despite his club success during the 1990s. It is rumored that Vialli played a prank on Sacchi, which was the reason for his dropping from the national team.

Overall, Vialli made 59 appearances for Italy, scoring 16 goals.

Style of play

Regarded as one of the best Italian and most consistent strikers of his generation, Vialli was a complete and versatile forward and a prolific goalscorer, who was capable of playing anywhere along the front line; throughout his career, he was played on the wing, or in a deeper, supporting role, although his preferred position was in the centre as a main striker, where he could best take advantage of his opportunism in the penalty area and his keen eye for goal. In addition to his power and shooting accuracy with both feet when finishing off chances both inside and outside the area, as well as his aerial ability, Vialli was also capable of playing off of and creating goals for team mates, and was also endowed with good vision, technical ability and control. A tenacious, hardworking, and energetic player, Vialli was gifted with outstanding athleticism, agility, strength, pace, and stamina; he also excelled in the air, both acrobatically, and with his head, which led manager Marcello Lippi to praise him, and compare him to legendary Italian striker Luigi Riva. In addition to his footballing skills, he was also remembered for his dedication, leadership, and his charismatic influence on the pitch.

Personal life

Son to a self-made millionaire, Vialli was brought up with his 4 siblings in the 60 room Castello di Belgioioso in Cremona.

Vialli has been married to Cathryn White-Cooper since 26 August 2003 and has two children. He is a keen golfer and has played at the Dunhill links championship pro-am event.

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1980–81 Cremonese Serie C1 2 0 2 0
1981–82 Serie B 31 5 5
1982–83 35 8 35 8
1983–84 37 10 2 12
1984–85 Sampdoria Serie A 28 3 6 9
1985–86 28 6 2 8
1986–87 28 12 4 16
1987–88 30 10 3 13
1988–89 30 14 13 1 1 5 33
1989–90 22 10 1 7 18
1990–91 26 19 3 1 23
1991–92 31 11 3 7 21
1992–93 Juventus Serie A 32 6 7 2 10 5 49 13
1993–94 10 4 2 0 12 4
1994–95 30 17 7 3 9 2 46 22
1995–96 30 11 1 1 7 2 38 14
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1996–97 Chelsea Premier League 28 9 1 2 29 11
1997–98 21 11 1 2 1 0 8 6 31 19
1998–99 9 1 3 2 5 6 1 1 18 10
Total Italy 410 146 42 2 2 29 219
England 58 21 5 6 6 6 9 7 78 40
Career total 468 167 48 8 8 36 259


Italy national team
Year Matches Goals
1985 1 0
1986 10 0
1987 10 5
1988 11 5
1989 10 1
1990 3 0
1991 8 3
1992 6 2
Total 59 16



  • Serie A: 1990–91
  • Coppa Italia: 1984–85, 1987–88, 1988–89
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1991
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1989–90
  • Serie A: 1994–95
  • Coppa Italia: 1994–95
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1995
  • UEFA Champions League: 1995–96
  • UEFA Cup: 1992–93
  • FA Cup: 1996–97
  • League Cup: 1997–98
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1997–98
  • UEFA Super Cup: 1998
  • UEFA European Under-21 Championship Top-scorer: 1986 (4 goals)
  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1988
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Top-scorer: 1989–90 (7 goals)
  • Coppa Italia Top-scorer: 1988–89 (13 goals)
  • Serie A Top-scorer: 1990–91 (19 goals)
  • World Soccer's World Player of the Year: 1995
  • Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2015


  • FA Cup: 1999–2000
  • League Cup: 1997–98
  • FA Charity Shield: 2000
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1997–98
  • UEFA Super Cup: 1998


Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg
5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991

Managerial stats

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Chelsea England 12 February 1998 12 September 2000 143 76 29 38 53.15
Watford England 1 June 2001 14 June 2002 52 20 21 11 38.46

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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