Gianluca Vialli: Antonio Conte pulls out of Tottenham press conference after death of friend and ex-team-mate

Gianluca Vialli: Antonio Conte pulls out of Tottenham press conference after death of friend and ex-team-mate

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has pulled out of his scheduled FA Cup press conference on Friday afternoon following the death of Gianluca Vialli.

The Spurs boss was due to address the assembled media at 2pm BST at Hotspur Way ahead of his side’s third-round home meeting with League One outfit Portsmouth on Saturday lunchtime.

However, Tottenham have now confirmed that Conte will hand over press duties to assistant Cristian Stellini as he mourns the sad passing of a close friend and former team-mate at the age of 58 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

“Following the sad passing of Gianluca Vialli, today’s press conference will be taken by Cristian Stellini,” Spurs said in a statement.

Antonio Conte (end left) and Gianluca Vialli (end right) were team-mates at Juventus in the 90s (Getty Images)
Antonio Conte (end left) and Gianluca Vialli (end right) were team-mates at Juventus in the 90s (Getty Images)

Midfield general Conte and star striker Vialli were team-mates throughout the latter’s four-year spell at Juventus between 1992-96, winning a plethora of major silverware together including one Serie A title and the 1995-96 Champions League, with Vialli the captain of that famous side with Roberto Biaggio injured.

In Pictures | Gianluca Vialli

(Bongarts/Getty Images)
(Bongarts/Getty Images)
17th June 1996: New Chelsea signing Gianlucia Vialli tries on his new shirt on the terraces at Stamford Bridg (PA)
17th June 1996: New Chelsea signing Gianlucia Vialli tries on his new shirt on the terraces at Stamford Bridg (PA)
2nd November 1996: Gianluca Vialli takes to the air to control the ball before scoring Chelsea’’s second goal during the Manchester United v Chelsea Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, (Getty Images)
2nd November 1996: Gianluca Vialli takes to the air to control the ball before scoring Chelsea’’s second goal during the Manchester United v Chelsea Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, (Getty Images)
11th July 2021: Gianluca Vialli, Delegation Chief of Italy celebrates with The Henri Delaunay Trophy following his team’s victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium (Getty Images)
11th July 2021: Gianluca Vialli, Delegation Chief of Italy celebrates with The Henri Delaunay Trophy following his team’s victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium (Getty Images)
circa 1984: Sampdoria striker Gianluca Vialli (l) rides the challenge of Paolo Pochesci of Ascoli (r) during a match in Genoa, Italy (Getty Images)
circa 1984: Sampdoria striker Gianluca Vialli (l) rides the challenge of Paolo Pochesci of Ascoli (r) during a match in Genoa, Italy (Getty Images)
5th March 1995: Gianlucsa Vialli during a match against Inter Milan at the San siro Stadium (Getty Images)
5th March 1995: Gianlucsa Vialli during a match against Inter Milan at the San siro Stadium (Getty Images)
26th November 1995: Gianluca Vialli of Juventus vies with Faustino Asparilla  of Parma (Getty Images)
26th November 1995: Gianluca Vialli of Juventus vies with Faustino Asparilla of Parma (Getty Images)
4th August 1996: Gianluca Vialli with the Umbro trophy after today’s Umbro Cup final against Ajax at the City Ground, Nottingham (PA)
4th August 1996: Gianluca Vialli with the Umbro trophy after today’s Umbro Cup final against Ajax at the City Ground, Nottingham (PA)
circa 1996: New Chelsea signing Gianluca Vialli (C) looks on with team mates during a training session after signing from Juventus in London (Getty Images)
circa 1996: New Chelsea signing Gianluca Vialli (C) looks on with team mates during a training session after signing from Juventus in London (Getty Images)
28th  February 1998: Chelsea’s Gianluca Vialli during a FA Carling Premiership match vs Liverpool (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
28th February 1998: Chelsea’s Gianluca Vialli during a FA Carling Premiership match vs Liverpool (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
16th April 1998: Gianluca Vialli of Chelsea out-jumps a Vicenza defender during the match between Chelsea v Vicenza in the European Cup Winners’’ Cup Semi-final played at Stamford Bridge, London, England. Chelsea won the match 3-1 to go into the Final. (Getty Images)
16th April 1998: Gianluca Vialli of Chelsea out-jumps a Vicenza defender during the match between Chelsea v Vicenza in the European Cup Winners’’ Cup Semi-final played at Stamford Bridge, London, England. Chelsea won the match 3-1 to go into the Final. (Getty Images)

They won a number of other trophies together during that period including the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and Uefa Cup. Vialli had already made his 59th and final appearance for Italy under Arrigo Sacchi two years before Conte’s international debut in 1994.