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Chelsea plan emotional Gianluca Vialli tributes for first home game since club legend’s death aged 58


C

helsea players past and present will remember Gianluca Vialli in a pre-game ceremony to pay tribute to the Italian after his death at the age of 58.

The visit of Crystal Palace on Sunday will be the Blues’ first game since their former player-manager passed away last week from pancreatic cancer.

A minute’s applause will be held before the match with 15 former Chelsea stars who played with Vialli joining the two teams on the pitch, wearing ‘No9 Vialli’ shirts.

Fans have also planned tributes in both the Matthew Harding Stand and Shed End.

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Vialli won the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup while finishing his prestigious playing career at Chelsea, the latter two coming after he was appointed player-manager at the age of 33 in 1998.

After hanging up his boots, he guided the club to another FA Cup trophy from the dugout.

Loved ones, supporters and former teammates attended a memorial service in Vialli’s hometown of Cremona on Monday ahead of his funeral in London later this week.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry has been among those paying tribute to the Italian since his death, writing on Instagram: “You will forever be remembered and I will always be so grateful for believing in me and giving me my debut. In the FA Cup final in 2000 you put Jody Morris, Jon Harley, Carlo Cudicini and myself on the bench and told us we were the future of Chelsea.

“When you arrived at Chelsea you had so much time for the young players, the discussions we used to have I will always treasure and remember.”

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