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“You’ll have to put up with me for a while yet”: Ex-Chelsea manager says he’s winning cancer battle

Gianluca Vialli

The 54-year-old revealed in November last year that he had kept his battle with the disease secret and assures he is now feeling fitter than ever.

Vialli was awarded the Giacinto Facchetti prize by Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday, an annual award that recognises a football personality for honesty, fair play and sportsmanship, previously won by the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Gianfranco Zola and Paolo Maldini.

“I deserved it,” said Vialli.

“Perhaps the jury decided to reward me by thinking that next year, it may be too late…

“I’m fine with regards to the cancer and everything is going well. It wasn’t a great period, but I’m trying really hard and training better than when I played football.

“I believe you’ll have to put up with me for a while yet. I owe a lot to football: it’s thanks to football that I bought my first car, my first home and above all lost my virginity.”

Reports in Italy have suggested that Vialli could be set to team up with his former Sampdoria strike partner Roberto Mancini with a role in the Italian national team.

“There’s a chance,” he admitted

“I thank President Gravina. I’m proud as it’s a prestigious role that must be carried out with responsibility.

“I asked for time to reflect, and I’m thinking it over with the family. It would be great to look after Roberto Mancini again!”