Former Chelsea and Juventus star Gianluca Vialli has revealed that he has been fighting a battle with cancer for over a year.
The 54-year-old, who played for his hometown club Cremonese and Sampdoria before starring with the Old Lady and the Pensioners, was speaking to Corriere della Sera, as quoted by Calciomercato.
The revelations were made ahead of the release of his upcoming autobiography, and Vialli admitted: “It would be better not to write it but it wasn’t possible. It was a part of my life that I had to live with bravery, and I’ve learned something from it.
"I knew it was hard and difficult to say to my family. You don’t want to see people that love you suffer. You feel shame, you feel like the whole situation is your fault.
"I used to wear a sweater under my shirt so that people would notice nothing. I want people to see the usual Vialli. After a while, I’ve decided to say everything and write my story in the book" (via Calciomercato).
After revealing that he had been fighting the disease for a while, he spoke eloquently of the ordeal and how it could help others:
“It all happened a year ago but I am feeling well now. I still don’t know how it’s going to end up, I hope my story will be useful for people who are facing a crossroad in their lives.
"I hope my book will help people somehow. The 10% of life is made of what happens, the 90% is made of how we face what happens. I hope my story will be useful to help people who are fighting. I’d like to meet someone who tells me: ‘I didn’t give up because of you’.”