Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli's death

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Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli
Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli's death

Graeme Souness broke down in tears and had to stop an interview live on television while discussing the death of his friend and former teammate Gianluca Vialli.

Vialli passed away, aged 58, on Friday following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Tributes have poured in from across the footballing world for the former striker, who played with distinction for the likes of Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea.

Souness played alongside Vialli at Sampdoria between 1984 and 1986 and built a strong friendship with the Italian. He saw him during the European Championship in the summer of 2021 and believed his friend was doing well, having first been diagnosed with cancer many years earlier.

Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli's death rridzziquridttinvGraeme Souness broke down while discussing Gianluca Vialli (Sky Sports News)

"Well, I'm no doctor, Hayley [McQueen, Sky Sports News presenter], but when I looked at him, I thought I saw a man who was still in the fight, when he was here during the Euros and they managed to win it," Souness told Sky Sports News in an emotional interview.

"And I think it's so typical of him, that he kept it very private, very personal and he took it on as I would expect him to take it on. It was his fight, he wanted to deal with it himself - he didn't want to burden other people with it... Sorry."

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Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli's deathThe presenter stopped the interview with Graeme Souness (Sky Sports News)

Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen then stopped the interview, saying: "Graeme, we're going to leave it there. I'm so sorry for you, for the loss of your former teammate and your friend.

"We're ever so grateful. I'm sure those that are watching will be so grateful that you've managed to share such heartfelt memories of Gianluca Vialli."

Souness' words have been echoed across Europe, with former clubs and teammates paying tribute to Vialli.

"You’ll be missed by so many," tweeted Chelsea shortly after Vialli's death was announced. "A legend to us and to all of football. Rest in peace, Gianluca Vialli." Vialli helped win two FA Cups, the Cup Winners' Cup, the League Cup, the European Super Cup and the Community Shield between 1996 and 2000 at Chelsea, scoring 40 goals in just 88 games.

Vialli worked as a member of Roberto Mancini's coaching staff at Euro 2020, helping Italy overcome England in the final on penalties to claim the trophy. "Ciao Gianluca, you will forever be remembered," tweeted Italy's official account along with a picture of the Euros trophy.

"RIP Gianluca Vialli," Premier League legend Alan Shearer tweeted. "What a lovely, lovely man and a wonderful player he was."

Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli's deathGianluca Vialli is a hero at Chelsea (Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Souness breaks down in tears live on Sky Sports over Vialli's deathGianluca Vialli scored 40 goals for the Blues (Getty Images)

TV presenter Simon Thomas, who worked with Vialli on Sky Sports' coverage of the Premier League, tweeted: "Not just a brilliant player, but a real gentleman. What a sad loss. Rest well Gianluca Vialli."

ITV presenter Mark Pougatch recalled meeting Vialli in his emotional tribute to the legend. He tweeted: "Interviewing Gianluca Vialli at Chelsea's Harlington HQ back in the day was always a delight. Smart brogues, classy beige V neck jumper, huge smile. 'I thought the chaps played really well last week' [he would say]. Charm personified. Bless him. RIP."

Felix Keith

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