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Gianfranco Zola


ABOUT
ABOUT

Gianfranco Zola is a retired Italian footballer and currently the manager of English football club Watford. Zola signed his first professional contract with Sardinian team Nuorese in 1984. In 1989, he signed for Napoli in Serie A. The young and talented Zola scored two goals as understudy to Diego Maradona as Napoli won the Serie A title in 1990. He helped Napoli to win the Supercoppa Italiana in 1991 and he made his debut for the Italian national side under coach Arrigo Sacchi in the same year, winning his first cap against Norway in November. In 1993, Zola left Napoli and joined fellow Serie A side Parma. He won the UEFA Cup with Parma and theItalian Cup in 1995. In November 1996, Zola joined Chelsea for £4.5 million as one of several continental players signed by Ruud Gullit. He was a key player in Chelsea's resurgence that season, helping them win the FA Cup with a 2–0 win overMiddlesbrough at Wembley Stadium having scored four goals en route to the final. At the end of the season he was voted FWA Player of the Year, the only player ever to win the accolade without playing a full season in the English league and the first Chelsea player to win it. In 1997–98, he helped Chelsea win three more trophies, the League Cup, the Cup Winners' Cup and the Super Cup. In 2002–03, his final season with Chelsea, he enjoyed success by adding sixteen more goals to his statistics and was voted the club's player of the year after helping Chelsea qualify for the Champions League. In the summer of 2003, Zola left Stamford Bridge to join Cagliari. In his playing career, Zola played 628 games and scored 193 goals. In 2006, Zola started his coaching career, being appointed as assistant manager to Italy U-21 manager and Pierluigi Casiraghi by the Italian Football Federation.
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