Italy legend Gianluca Vialli remains in a London hospital as he continues to battle pancreatic cancer, but his condition is said to have ‘worsened’.
Vialli was re-diagnosed with cancer last year and recently stepped down from his role within the Italy setup to focus on his health.
Italian outlet Corriere della Sera report that Vialli’s mother and brother have travelled to London to visit him as he will not be able to return home in time for Christmas due to his ‘worsened’ state.
Vialli was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2017 before receiving an initial all-clear in 2020, only for the disease to return shortly after he helped coach Italy to Euro 2020 victory.
Tributes have come from near and far for Vialli, who resides in London after growing attached to the city while at Chelsea.
Former teammate Antonio Cabrini recently penned him an open letter through the Province of Cremona.
“Dear Gianluca,” Cabrini began. “When I read in the newspaper that you gave up your role as head of delegation of the [national team] my heart sank.
“Knowing your extraordinary attachment to the Maglia Azzurra [blue jersey], I understood that such a step on your part can only have one meaning: the game you are playing is taking a lot of effort! The opponent, what you call “the unwanted travel companion”, is playing dirty, like a defender who sinks the tackle, not to win the ball, but to hurt the opponent.
“And so I, as your companion-friend, am writing to give you courage.”
The likes of John Terry, who made his Chelsea debut under Vialli, and Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina, have also made public statements in support of the 58-year-old.