Chelsea confirm Zola return

Chelsea have confirmed that Gianfranco Zola has returned to the club to join Maurizio Sarri’s backroom staff.

The Italian spent seven years at Stamford Bridge from 1996 to 2003, becoming one of the greatest players to have ever played in the Premier League.

As a player, he scored 80 goals in 311 appearances for Chelsea, winning two FA Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup and one League Cup.

He finished his playing career in Italy with Cagliari, before embarking on a career in management, with West Ham, Watford and Birmingham among the teams he has managed.

He will now return to the dugout with his beloved Chelsea as an assistant to fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri, who was appointed as the club’s latest manager last week following the sacking of Antonio Conte.

“For me it is an amazing thing,” Zola told the Chelsea website.

“I am very willing to work hard because it is going to be a difficult challenge but I am pleased to be here, and to work hard with Maurizio to be successful. It would be great to be successful with Maurizio and for the club and I will give my best, as I did in the past as a player, so I will give my best in my new position.

“I am very much looking forward to the challenge in general. I would love us to start well and we are all very excited to start this new adventure.”

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