Premier League: Gianfranco Zola appointed as Chelsea assistant manager


Former Chelsea and Italy striker Gianfranco Zola is set to make a return at Stamford Bridge as new manager Maurizio Sarri gave him a job as his assistant. Zola was probably the most important Chelsea player right before the "Abramovich era", he helped the club win two FA Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and one League Cup between 1996 and 2003. He also scored 80 league goals in 312 appearances for the Blues. Zola has already joined the squad in their pre-season tour of Australia. "For me it is an amazing thing. I am pleased to be here," he said.

"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," added Zola, now aged 52. "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." Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri was appointed as Chelsea manager after previous boss Antonio Conte was sacked last week. Gianfranco Zola has managed three clubs in England after having retired as a player but never had great success.

His last job was at Birmingham, he was appointed as managed in December 2016 but resigned four months later due to a poor run of form. Manager Maurizio Sarri has not won any trophies in his career either, but he is confident that he will bring glory to Chelsea. "If I was someone who always worried I probably would do another job," he said. "Our job means risks but there is also a lot of satisfaction. I am not afraid." The new Blues boss was also asked whether he wants to be called with a nickname, like Jose Mourinho's self-proclaimed "The Special One", and Sarri replied: "Just call me Maurizio."

Chelsea are now 14/1 at Bet365 to win the Premier League title next season.

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