WATCH: Chelsea pay heartwarming Gianluca Vialli tribute at Stamford Bridge ahead of Crystal Palace clash

Gianluca Vialli Stamford Bridge tributeGetty
  • Chelsea produce fantastic Vialli tribute
  • Italian icon played for and managed Blues
  • Passed away aged 58 on January 6 following illness

WHAT HAPPENED? Following the heartbreaking news earlier in the month of Vialli's death after a battle with cancer, Chelsea paid tribute to the Italian who carved out an incredible legacy at the club from 1996 to 1999. As well as a tribute outside of Stamford Bridge, the club produced a tifo to honour their former player-manager ahead of kick-off against Crystal Palace, while the current Chelsea squad took to the pitch ahead of kick-off wearing 'Vialli 9' shirts.

Former Chelsea colleagues including John Terry, Chris Sutton, Graeme Le Saux, Mario Melchiot and Jody Morris were present at Stamford Bridge to pay tribute.

Vialli Tifo Stamford BridgeGetty

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Vialli, who commanded a world record transfer fee upon signing for Juventus in 1992, enjoyed a stellar career in his native Italy as one of the best strikers on the planet before heading to Chelsea as a veteran of the game in 1996. By 1998, he was serving as player-manager and left Stamford Bridge in 2000 having guided the Blues to two FA Cups, a League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the Super Cup and more, providing silverware in an era before Roman Abramovich took ownership and transformed Chelsea.

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Graham Potter's side are struggling on the pitch having been bogged down by injuries and suspensions, heading into their clash with Palace without a win in their last four games.

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