Gianluca Vialli: The New Breed of Striker

Updated on September 18, 2019
Chelsea Planet profile image

A Chelsea ambassador redisovering our past and exploring our evolving brand.

Chelsea legend Gianluca Vialli was seen as a new breed of striker in Italian football who combined technique and goal scoring ability with speed, athleticism and physical power. Due to his natural ability, he also excelled in the air and became a prolific scorer of acrobatic goals from volleys and bicycle kicks. However, he was also highly regarded for his dedication, leadership qualities, strong mentality and his charismatic influence on the pitch. These transcendental attributes are now perceived as the skills an old fashioned striker needs to galvanize any effective football system.

Best Chelsea Goals

Chelsea Career

Hailed as one of the best and most consistent Italian strikers of his generation, Vialli was the complete, dynamic, and versatile forward who was capable of playing anywhere along the attacking line. However, his preferred position was in the centre as a main stiker, where he could take advantage of his offensive movement and opportunism inside the box.

He was also capable of playing off of and creating chances for his teammates, who were guided by his superb vision, tactical intelligience and distribution.

Vialli's move to Chelsea as a free transfer was certainly the greatest challenge of his career as most players in the Premier League were British at the time. However, he joined fellow Italy internationals Gianfranco Zola and Roberto Di Matteo, who were brought from Parma and Lazio to complete the "Italian Invasion". This is a particularly interesting chaper in the club's history during the definitive years of the Premier League.

Although initially happy with the move to London, the squad could not accomodate the three up front, leading to strained relations with the coach. Vialli even considered a possible move to Crystal Palace or Celtic.

Chelsea eventually won the FA Cup in Vialli's first season, though in a 4-2 comeback over Liverpool in the 4th round. However, due to apparent differences between him and Ruud Gullit, he was regularly left out of the starting line up and was limited to a five-minute appearance as a late substitute due to an imposed "jinxed" presence on the pitch. This did not improve in the 1997-1998 season even though he delivered exceptional performances in the League and the Cup Winners Cup.

However, following Gullit's dismissal in early 1998, Vialli was given the interesting opportunity to be a player-manager. He won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1998 and the League Cup. He then achieved a euphoric 1-0 victory over UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup.

After Gullit was sacked in February 1998, Chelsea were already in the semi-finals of the League Cup and the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup. He then proceeded with winning both competitions as well as finishing fourth in the League. A victory over VfB Stuttgart in the Cup Winners' Cup meant that the 33 years and 308 days-old Vialli became the youngest manager to win the competition. However, in 18 May 2011, Andrea Villas-Boas won the Europa league at the age of 33 years and 213 days.

The following season, Chelsea finished 3rd in the Premier League, just four points behind champions Manchester United, which was the highest league finish since 1970. Chelsea then subsequently became a regular contender for a top four position from this point on.

Vialli had contributed immensely to the current Chelsea brand that we have grown accustomed to. In fact, this era was critical in laying the foundation for Abramovich and Mourinho to forge the Chelsea brand as a major player in modern day football. Personally, the younger Chelsea fan has fully embraced the aggressive corporate approach and is totally disregarding the pioneering endeavours of these footballers.

Chelsea Amore

Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal, League Cup 1998 (Vialli's first game in charge)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Chelsea Planet

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        bright 

        5 weeks ago

        i think that chelsea is best team in the world

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)