Federico Chiesa pays tribute to 'icon' Gianluca Vialli at FC Futures launch

  • Chiesa was present at the launch of the FC Futures programme in Turin
  • Two training pitches, named after the late Gianluca Vialli, were opened & 35 children were invited to test them out
  • Chiesa believes the project is a perfect one to keep Vialli's legacy alive
Chiesa paid tribute to Vialli
Chiesa paid tribute to Vialli / EA Futures

Juventus and Italy star Federico Chiesa has admitted his delight at seeing the "iconic" Gianluca Vialli memorialised by the EA Sports FC Futures project in Turin.

FC ambassador Chiesa was present at the FC Futures event in Turin for the opening of two new community training pitches which have been designed in memory of Vialli, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in January at the age of 58.

The FC Futures plan revolves around investing in grassroots football with a view to providing young people across the globe with access to football facilities and carries on the legacy of Vialli, who worked tirelessly to try and inspire those around him both during and after his playing career.

"I think dedicating a program like this to a legend like Vialli is certainly the best way to pay tribute to the amazing football player he was, but before that, to the amazing person he was," Chiesa said.

"Vialli showed what real courage and determination are. He carried on his fight always with elegance, as a real man should.

"Vialli is an icon for Juventus and Italian football. Back in Sampdoria, him and his teammates were able to win the Serie A title against all odds, and given he was one of the best players, says a lot about his accomplishments.

"His heritage is that of being a true man, someone who lived with honesty, kindness and passion. His legacy is vivid in the minds and hearts of every football player who was lucky enough to participate in Euro 2020 and have him as part of the group.

"He gave us purpose, unity and most importantly confidence in ourselves and the team overall. He supported each one of us, as he could truly speak to anyone, and this created harmony, trust and it united us all. His qualities as a man are what he has left to the world of football."

Federico Chiesa
Chiesa joined in a training session at the new facilities / EA Futures

Chiesa was delighted to see Vialli's name used for such a project as he stressed the importance of young people having a safe place to play football.

"I think it is a wonderful project because not everyone has the possibility to reach a football field or a safe environment to train easily," he explained. "These types of projects really help the areas in which they take place.

"I personally felt really involved in the FC Futures event in Turin which gave 35 children the possibility to play in a beautiful training facility like the FDS Spazio Talent Soccer sports centre and grow their passion for football.

"Back in high school, we had a quote saying 'think globally, act locally'. What EA Sports and Juventus are jointly doing is an expression of this, their global stance in promoting football and ability to engage millions of people around the world is supported by local initiatives, in this case, to help a small group of children cultivate their passion for football.

"When I was a kid, I used to play football anytime I could. My best childhood memories are of me playing all day long on a very small sand football pitch, and doing that for all of my summer break. I think it’s fundamental to play just for fun because that’s really when you understand what kind of player you want to be or the position you want to play in. Once you have fun, you improve your skills and performance and this enables you to play under pressure. You begin playing any type of sports just for fun, and since football is a game, it should feel as such for the longest time possible."