New Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola gunning to make an impact alongside Maurizio Sarri

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 19 July 2018, 09:09

Chelsea confirmed the return of a legend on Wednesday as fan favourite Gianfranco Zola was revealed as Maurizio Sarri’s assistant at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian spent seven years at Chelsea, during which he accumulated 312¬†appearances, scored 80 goals, and lifted four trophies including the 1998 European Cup Winners’ Cup, where he scored the winner.

Zola finished his playing career at Cagliari but would later return to England as a manager, first with West Ham, then Watford, while he endured a forgettable spell at Birmingham the season before last.

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Now, after recharging his batteries, he’s gunning to make an impact under new boss Sarri.

“For me it is an amazing thing. 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,” Zola told chelseafc.com.

“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.”

Zola scored the winner in the 1998 European Cup Winners’ Cup final:

The duo have ventured off to Perth, Australia, for the club’s pre-season tour, where Chelsea play Perth Glory, before jetting back to Europe for the International Champions Cup, locking horns with Inter Milan and Arsenal, while they then come up against Pep Guardiola’s Man City in the Community Shield.

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In an interview with chelseafc.com Sarri stated that he wants to bring the fun factor back to the club:

Anybody who plays a game started doing that when they were a child, to have fun. The child in each of us must be nurtured because this often is what makes us the best. Trying to create play that is fun is the first thing to obtain everything else from.

My goal is to have fun as long as I’m here, and to be competitive in all competitions until the end. My personal objective is to have fun, because I think that in life, the biggest gift you may receive is to have fun while you do your job.

I'm convinced that if the team has fun, often the fans have fun, too. This is very important. And then there is obviously the material objective. We must start by having fun, which is important for us and our fans. I really hope the Chelsea fans will see entertaining football.”

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