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Chelsea hero Gianluca Vialli was given the all clear last month after a second bout of cancer and the Italian has revealed the promise he made to his father as he battled cancer.
“I made a solemn promise to my father,” Vialli told Daily Mail. “I told him: ‘I am not going before you or mum.’”
When asked how he could promise that when his prognosis was uncertain, Vialli responded: “My father is 90 and my mother is 85 and I consider myself extremely lucky that I still have them.
“Now that I am a parent, I know there could be nothing more painful than losing a child. It was a promise. I didn’t want them to… I wasn’t… I was trying to be unselfish.
“Of course, I want to live for as long as I can but I definitely didn’t want them to go through the grief of losing a child. That was one goal I set myself: to outlive my parents. It was good for them but it was also a goal for me to achieve and it gave me some strength and desire to be even more positive and do everything possible in order to stay alive.
“One of the things this journey made me realise was that I have to be closer to my parents. Selfishly, my priority is my children.
“But I put myself in my parents’ shoes. I am a father, a husband but I am also a son so I need to do my very best in order to make them happy. I didn’t feel this way before I got cancer. It has been an opportunity for me to realise these things.”