Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit has paid his tribute to Gianluca Vialli, following the Italian legend’s death due to pancreatic cancer. The ex-Milan and Ajax star has expressed his admiration for Serie A icon, who once upon a time was the most expensive player in the world – moving from Sampdoria to Juventus for a then world record £12.5M.
Speaking to Dutch TV program ‘Rondo’ on the channel Ziggo (via La Gazzetta dello Sport), Gullit shed light on his relationship with the former enigmatic striker.
“It was I who brought him to Chelsea from Juve and for us he was an important player and everyone loved him. I also saw and challenged him as a player when I was at Milan: he was the Sampdoria striker with Mancini. What a couple… And also with the national team: the matches between Holland and Italy have always been tough and he was formidable, an attacker like few others”.
Gullit went on to expand on how the both of them gelled, also commenting his surprise on how Vialli didn’t find any big clubs to manage after Chelsea.
“Gianluca was a special personality, a gentleman in his behavior and relationships he established with people. He took my place as Chelsea manager after I trained him for a season and a half, but the relationship between us remained excellent. It is absurd that after all the trophies he won at Chelsea, he only went to Watford and then received no other calls. That’s why it was so nice that he conquered the European championship with the national team.”
Finally, he paid his respects to Vialli.
“Vialli’s death is a big loss and he left too early. We knew he was sick. I spoke to a friend of mine who visited him a month ago and his story was painful. Gianluca knew what he was going to meet. Too early, terrible, just like Sinisa Mihajlovic.”
Gullit e Van Basten: "Vialli un signore e una persona per bene, la sua scomparsa una grande perdita" https://t.co/wS1zQ82Ahm
— La Gazzetta dello Sport (@Gazzetta_it) January 10, 2023
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