We’re picturing you up there next to Paolo and Vuja, who while being delighted to see you again are deeply saddened at how soon it is. Luca, you left us too soon. Far too soon. They say it’s never easy to bid farewell to travel companions, and this throws such sentiment into sharp relief. Indeed, it was your ‘unwanted travel companion’, as you referred to it as, which robbed us of you, aged only 58. Denied of new horizons and future achievements but leaving behind a legacy which lives on in the heart of all Sampdoria fans.
We’ve come a long way together, growing up and seeking new heights, triumphing and dreaming. You came here little more than a boy and left as a man. We’ll remember you as that young, unstoppable forward, because since that summer of 1984 you have been our hero. Powerful and elegant, with the number nine emblazoned on your back and the Scudetto shield sewn on the heart of your shirt. A true leader at Samp, running the line with Roberto ‘Bobby Gol’ Mancini. In three words: one of us.
Although 1992 saw you leave Genoa and the Samp faithful behind in search of pastures new, your soul lived on at the club. While you were making waves around Europe, lifting trophies for various clubs both as a player and as a coach, you were still one of us. Sampdoria and Gianluca Vialli, always together. With you, in victory and in defeat, in health and in sickness. In Bern as in Gothenburg, the ecstasy of Marassi on 19 May 1991 and the agony of Wembley a year and a day later. Then Wembley again, in July 2021, and that emotional embrace between you and Mancio.
We’ll never forget your 141 goals, your overhead kicks, your cashmere shirts, your earring, your platinum blonde hair, your Ultras bomber jacket. You gave us so much, we gave you so much. It was pure love, reciprocal, infinite. A love that will not die today with you. We will continue to love and adore you because to us there’s simply nobody better. Gone in body but living on in spirit, we will continue to relive those glory days. We will look up at the Samp-coloured blue sky and see you shining down on us, Luca. And your goals. “For who?” “For us!”
The club sends their deepest condolences to his wife Cathryn, to his daughters Olivia and Sofia and to the whole Vialli family.