GIANFRANCO ZOLA is a football legend who was once voted Chelsea's greatest player in history.
The Italian sportsman has had a varied career, having moved into coaching after he retired from playing football.
When did Gianfranco Zola retire from playing football?
Gianfranco Zola retired from playing football in 2005 after two seasons at Cagliari in his native Sardinia.
He had retired from playing internationally in 1998.
Zola started his career in 1984 with Sardinian team Nuorese before moving to Sassari-based team Torres.
The player, who was born on July 5, 1966, signed for Napoli in 1989.
Read More on Zola
Zola apologised to Delap as ‘illegal’ bid to stop throws sent Pulis berserk
Lampard used to get kicked off Chelsea’s training ground for student team
It was there that Zola forged a close friendship with the legendary Diego Maradona, who would go on to have a huge influence on Zola's career.
In 1993 the football player left Napoli for Parma, the team he won the 1993 UEFA Super Cup and the 1995 UEFA Cup with.
Zola then joined UK side Chelsea in 1996, where he stayed until 2003.
During his time at the Premier League team, he helped them win the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the League Cup.
Most read in Football
Bayern 'make FINAL Kane bid', £78m Gvardiol set for City move, Mbappe latest
Greenwood decision LATEST, Hojlund DELAY, Amrabat 'turns down Saudi'
Ex-Arsenal ace has house ROBBED with terrified wife inside as £200k Rolex taken
Neville and Carragher fear Sky Sports axe and admit jobs could be ‘taken away’
He was also voted Chelsea's greatest player ever in 2003.
The forward played 229 times for the London club, scoring 59 goals.
Cagliari then signed Zola in the summer of 2003, where he stayed until he announced his retirement.
Zola has also represented Italy's national team.
He won his first cap for the team in 1991 – in a match against Norway – and went on to earn 35 caps for his country.
With Italy, Zola travelled to the 1994 World Cup in the United States, but did not play in the final after being sent off earlier in the tournament.
Italy eventually ended as runners-up after losing to Brazil in the final.
He also played in the 1996 Euros.
Which teams has Gianfranco Zola coached?
Zola began his coaching career with the Italy under-21s in 2006.
As assistant coach, he and Pierluigi Casiraghi led the team to the 2008 Beijing Olympics where they finished in the quarter-finals.
In 2008 he was hired by Premier League side West Ham United.
Zola was then manager of Watford from July 2012 until December 2013.
From December 2014 to March 2015 he managed his old Italian team Cagliari.
Zola coached one season for Qatar team Al-Arabi before moving to Birmingham City in 2016.
He returned to another of his past teams, Chelsea, as the assistant to manager Maurizio Sarri in July 2018.
Zola departed in 2019 after Frank Lampard was announced as head coach.
As of 2023, Zola is vice-president of the Italy's Lega Pro league.
Is Gianfranco Zola married and does he have children?
Gianfranco is married to Francesca Zola, née Secci.
The couple have three children together.
Their son Andrea, who was born on January 7, 1991, is also a footballer and has played for Grays Athletic and the West Ham United reserves.
He retired in 2011.
In June 2023, his daughter Martina made her professional martial arts debut at Polaris 24, a top jiu-jitsu event.
What is Gianfranco Zola's net worth?
Gianfranco has an estimated net worth of around $30million (almost £24million).
Read More on The Sun
Asda makes a major change to stores with new shopping range
I was a single mum on benefits – I now own a giant home & earn £100k
He has estimated this fortune through his time as a player and manager, and the various brand deals he has landed during his career.
Zola also invested in ice cream company Unico, which has four locations in London – Bromley, Fulham, St John's Wood and Holland Park.
Source: Read Full Article