Gianluca Vialli spent his life winning trophies but he also won hearts | Gianluca Vialli

Gianluca Vialli did not lose his battle with cancer, because for him it was never a battle to begin. “I don’t want to fight cancer,” he told the Guardian in 2020, “because it would be too big and powerful an enemy. I feel this is a journey. It’s about travelling with an unwanted travel companion until hopefully it gets bored and dies before me.”

A passage that began with the discovery of a pancreatic tumour in 2017 came to an end on Friday, as Vialli died at the age of 58. More than once it had appeared that he would outlast his fellow voyager, with doctors giving an all-clear…

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