Chelsea legend Gianluca Vialli has revealed he had a secret battle with cancer last year ahead of the release of his autobiography.
The Italian both played for and managed the Blues, becoming a real favourite in his Stamford Bridge stay between 1996 and 2000.
Chelsea fans will be relieved to hear Vialli now seems to be recovering well, with the 54-year-old explaining how he chose not to go public with his illness.
‘It all happened a year ago but I am feeling well now. It would be better not to write it but it wasn’t possible,’ he told Corriere della Serra.
‘It was a part of my life that I had to live with bravery, and I’ve learned something from it.
‘I knew it was hard and difficult to say to my family. You don’t want to see people that love you suffer.
‘You feel shame, you feel like the whole situation is your fault. I used to wear a sweater under my shirt so that people would notice nothing.
‘I want people to see the usual Vialli. After a while, I’ve decided to say everything and write my story in the book.’
Vialli’s playing career also saw him star for Juventus and the Italian national team, while he had a spell in charge of Watford as well after going into management with Chelsea.
Since then, however, he has focused on punditry, appearing occasionally on Sky Sports and generally showing himself to be a well-spoken and insightful analyst of the game, even in his second language.