Edging out Milanese duo AC Milan and Inter to clinch their first ever Serie A title, it was Sampdoria striker Gianluca Vialli who stood out as 1990/91 Player of the Season.
As part of the famous I Gemelli del Gol (The Goal Twins) alongside Roberto Mancini, the Italian international’s achievement was a personal triumph after a disappointing show at Italia’90.
Expected to lead the Azzurri to World Cup glory on home soil, Vialli was ousted from the starting line-up by tournament sensation Salvatore ‘Toto’ Schillaci and made only fleeting appearances.
However, the ex-Cremonese frontman stole the show domestically over the next 12 months, topping the Serie A scoring charts with 19 goals and scoring three times as the Blucerchiati missed out on the Coppa Italia in the final.
Vialli netted a crucial second goal away to Inter with three Serie A games to play and had scored an equally important 75th minute winner versus Bari the previous weekend at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
During mid-March the Italian hit a double as Samp defeated reigning champions Napoli 4-1 for the second time that season, alongside a winning penalty against future employers Juventus to highlight his vital contribution.
In Europe it was notably different. Not scoring in the European Cup Winners’ Cup until the last two minutes of the campaign to record a respectable 3-2 aggregate loss, despite being largely outplayed by Legia Warsaw over both legs.