Roberto Mancini recalled his final chat with Gianluca Vialli, with whom he shared time in his playing days at Sampdoria and in recent years on the bench of the Italian national team. He was a guest on the TV show Porta a Porta Tuesday (via Corriere della Sera).
“Gianluca told me that we had to win the 2026 World Cup and that he would be with us. He’ll surely be very close, and we hope to be able to dedicate a great victory to him soon. I visited him in London at the end of the year. I was a little scared. He woke up, and we laughed, joked around, and phoned Attilio Lombardo. He told me to be at ease, actually cheered me up and was very lucid. We reunited in the same way we had previously left each other: well.”
Mancini recalled the heartwarming hug with Vialli after winning the 2020 European Championship.
“It encompassed everything, not only on the sports side. He was already ill, and we boosted his morale a little. He was crucial to our victories. When he spoke to the players, they treasured everything. He didn’t reveal his disease to me at first. He told me in 2019 that he undergoing treatments for a health problem. Many things have changed since that day. He was upbeat since he has always been a warrior and he hadn’t informed me sooner because he didn’t want me to suffer. We hoped he managed to improve as time passed by. We wished for a miracle up until the last moment.”
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