Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Gianluca Vialli, describing him as a ‘unique’ and ‘charismatic’ person that made everyone’s ‘lives better’. The former Italy, Juventus and Chelsea striker passed away on Friday at the age of 58 after battling with pancreatic cancer since 2017.
The Spanish manager said: ‘On behalf of Manchester City, for his wife and kids, a huge loss. Difficult to find a more charismatic person. ‘I was lucky to have met him on a golf course with his foundation ‘Vailli e Mauro’. And I am pretty sure Massino Mauro will continue his legacy for the rest.
Guardiola said he was ‘lucky’ to have met Vialli on the golf course and recalled the ‘incredible conversation’ he had with the much-loved Italian. Guardiola described Vialli as a ‘unique’ and ‘charismatic’ person during his press conference after Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Chelsea. ‘In life you realise how, as a football player, as a life. I know how, I would say, he takes care of his body, his life and everything.
‘It’s difficult to find a person who can talk like I am talking about the charisma that he has. It’s unstoppable. ‘Yeah, the last time I remember him was in a golf course in Majorca. We played and we arrived late one day.
‘You realise at the end our life is a coin. Sometimes it goes to one side and sometimes it goes to the other. ‘I want to say thank you, honestly, to the Italian national team. Especially Roberto Mancini for the last three years in the national team when they won the Euros and being part of that because I know it made him [Vialli] feel alive. It made him feel like ‘I am still part of that’.
‘He will not be forgotten. We have to remember him with a bigger smile because what he has done is made our lives better. ‘On behalf of all organisations, of Manchester City and all clubs. For his family and friends, a huge loss. ‘
‘We were hungry together and we started to eat cheese and salami and all these kind of things. It was an incredible conversation we had. ‘But, I saw this guy here, this week in Italy. The reactions. It has happened because he was absolutely something unique.