The Pizzighettone, the oratory, the family castle: Vialli and its Cremona

A globetrotting life but the heart remained at home, where he graduated and was launched into big football. And that last visit to the Zini…

“I would like to remember the recent passing of Cistriani, my first coach at Pizzighettone. Then, if I have exploited my potential it is thanks to the great teachers I had at the Cremonese. I hope I’m not forgetting anyone: I grew up with Babo Nolli, Settembrino, Mondonico and Vincenzi who made me debut in the first team. I met great managers like Domenico Luzzara and I was lucky enough to have people around me who made me grow as a man and a footballer, continuing to study. And Cremona … is a perfect city ”: this is how Gianluca Vialli confided a year ago to the Province, his city newspaper.

Where he never returned to live on a permanent basis after a life as a globetrotter where the ball brought him, but which has remained in his heart, and more and more over the years and with the events of life.

The origins

Born in Cremona on 9 July 1964, his was a happy provincial childhood, where everything is at home: the carefree summers spent in the family castle in Grumello Cremonese, an initiation into mini basketball with Maurizio Mondoni, the first kicks in the team in the oratory of Cristo Re led by the unwavering Don Angelo Scaglioni, the first tournament won at the age of 9 which earned him the call of the nearby Pizzighettone, the landing at the Cremonese of the very president Domenico Luzzara for half a million lire. The rest is recent history (or almost), the one that in 1984 saw him denying himself to Juve to marry Mancini’s Sampdoria – since then a close friend as the embrace at the European Championship will testify forever -, enter history with the extraordinary Scudetto of the Boskov era and pass from youth to maturity – football and otherwise – reaping successes wherever he went, from Juve to Chelsea via the national team.


Younger brother of Mila, Nino, Marco and Maffo, the young Vialli studied as a surveyor at the Vacchelli Institute in Cremona. He will graduate as a privatist in 1993 after having interrupted his schooling for a few years, but he will keep the promise made to his family and to his girlfriend at the time, Giovanna. In the meantime, football was already (a large) part of his life: with the Grigiorossi he made his debut in the first team in C1 at the age of 16 in the 1980-81 season and in the following three years he played in Serie B, resulting decisive for the return of the Cremonese to the maximum series, 54 years later, with Mondonico on the bench. Hence the agreement between Luzzara and his friend Paolo Mantovani, which will bring a good three billion lire (we are in 1984) into the gray and red coffers and Gianluca away from his city but at the first step of a sensational career. With his debut in Serie A against Cremonese, due to a curious twist of fate.

The link

Never as in the case of Vialli, however, the distance in kilometers does not correspond to an authentic detachment. The roots remain planted in their place, so much so that last September 4th he wanted to bring his support – as well as his greetings – to the team of his city, in the meantime returned to Serie A, on the occasion of the Cremonese-Sassuolo match. A sudden and unannounced blitz, in a grey-red jersey, greeted by the emotion of Zini who embraced his champion again as in the good old days, crouched in the stands with a suffering air but with a vivid and sympathetic gaze. “Do not give up testòòn”, Antonio Cabrini had asked him in recent days in a letter full of affection and encouragement. But el testòòn this time she didn’t listen to him, or maybe she just didn’t hear him.

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The Pizzighettone, the oratory, the family castle: Vialli and its Cremona

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