Chelsea confirm Zola’s return as assistant boss

[/media-credit] Gianfranco Zola is hugely popular among Chelsea fans

Chelsea have confirmed Gianfranco Zola’s return to the club as Maurizio Sarri’s assistant.

Zola, 52, is regarded as one of Chelsea’s finest-ever players, having helped them win the Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup, Super Cup, two FA Cups and the League Cup during his seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

He made over 300 appearances and scored 80 goals for the Blues between 1996 and 2003 and has since been manager of West Ham, Watford and Birmingham.

The former Italy international had been widely tipped to return alongside Sarri, who recently took over as head coach.

Zola said: “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.

“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.”