Roberto Mancini is grieving the loss of a man he considered his brother after Gianluca Vialli's death following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Vialli passed away at the age of 58 in London on Friday, devastating Italy coach Mancini who was his best friend and long-time strike partner in their playing days at Sampdoria in the 1980s and 90s.

The former Italy forward's death came less than a month after another of Mancini's friends Sinisa Mihajlovic succumbed to leukemia.

"Only a few days after Sinisa passing away I've lost another brother, or little brother as I liked to call him," the Corriere Dello Sport quoted him as saying on Saturday.

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