Italy's head of delegation Gianluca Valli stands during the World Cup 2022 qualifier Group C soccer game between Italy and Bulgaria at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.
Reuters  — 

Former Italy striker Gianluca Vialli is stepping away from his role with the national federation for health reasons, the 58-year-old who has pancreatic cancer said on Wednesday.

“At the end of a long and difficult negotiation with my wonderful team of oncologists, I have decided to suspend, hopefully temporarily, my present and future professional commitments,” said Vialli, head of delegation of the Azzurri.

“The goal is to use all my energies to help my body overcome this phase of the disease, so as to be able to face new adventures as soon as possible and share them with all of you.”

Vialli, who enjoyed a stellar career with Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea and earned 59 caps for Italy, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 but was given the all-clear a year later.

A year ago he announced it had returned.