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Name Gianfranco Zola
Gender Male
Ethnic Italian
Job Italian Footballer
Desc A pioneer thanks to his time at Chelsea, where he charmed a generation of fans with his fancy tricks and delightful free-kick goals. The diminutive Italian sparked a period with the Blues of expansive, attractive football. Capable of bamboozling the league’s toughest defenders, Zola’s class deserved to be surrounded with better quality

Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Chelsea FC
  Napoli FC

2010 01 30 Retrieve

[Gianfranco Zola has hit out at the betrayal of trust and lack of respect shown to him by his friend and former Chelsea team-mate Eidur Gudjohnsen in snubbing West Ham at the last moment for Tottenham] I feel twisted and turned and certainly a little bit bitter. I’m disappointed because we invested a lot in him and to find he is not coming to us any more. But our life doesn’t depend on Gudjohnsen and we’ll get on with it. Tottenham probably need a striker more than us, they think they need another one. But the player… I wasn’t expecting that. I’m more disappointed in the player because I was expecting something different

[When asked if Gudjohnsen would still be his friend] ‘s very difficult to say right now. I think you are taking advantage of my feelings and I don’t want to play that game. But I’m not going to hide my feelings. I feel disappointed and bitter and I won’t hide it from him. But my life goes on - and my life doesn’t depend on Gudjohnsen and I’ll get on with it. They keep telling me that football is like that right now. I keep saying, when I am dealing with people, I always expect the people in front of me to behave in a certain way, with respect. OK, that wasn’t the case and we move on

[Despite McCarthy’s lack of Premier League action - only seven starts all campaign - Zola is convinced he can rouse the forward to a season-saving display for the Hammers and book his ticket to the World Cup] It shouldn’t be a big problem. The quality is there, that’s what we are looking for. The rest is down to me and my staff to get the best out of him. I have no worries about that. He is determined to do well, to prove himself, and that is a great assurance for us

[Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has been scathing about the player’s failure to turn up for training] I understand Benni and Sam have different opinions. I don’t know the reasons and I don’t want to know. But I think I know Blackburn wanted to sell him - that’s the bottom line. If Benni McCarthy is leaving it is probably because he wasn’t playing there and didn’t feel appreciated. That’s probably the reason why he is leaving. It doesn’t mean I want to get involved in the row between the two. I will help him very much to get to the World Cup. We are going to give him the chance because if I help him, he will help us. He has the qualities to be a World Cup player and to give West Ham a big boost. So we will co-operate with this

[Zola also revealed his regret at the departure of chief executive Scott Duxbury, who brought the little Italian to Upton Park in September 2008] We were expecting changes. I’m more sad than surprised. I’ll keep my commitment and do my best to get the team safe. That is my target and my priority

2015 08 20 Retrieve

[Gianfranco Zola on Thierry Henry] He is one of those players who can really ruin your day

2016 08 06 Retrieve

[Quotes on Zlatan Ibrahimovic] When he’s on form, he’s unstoppable. He’s at the same level as [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi. He has the strength, the technique and the intelligence. He’s an extraordinary player

2017 12 02 Retrieve

[Gianfranco Zola tells which of his former team-mates was wilder: Diego Maradona or Faustino Asprilla] Tino by miles. Tino was another league. But always in a nice way. Not that Maradona was in a bad way. But Tino was really, really, a constant search for trouble. Good trouble

2017 03 08 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry] John Terry has been one of the columns of the team for the last few years. [. . .] John has been a great contributor to the many successes the club has had in the last few years. He is one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players, certainly one of the most inspirational and charismatic. It is no coincidence the club has been so successful in the last few years. John has been a big part of it

2017 03 09 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry] I had no doubt Terry was going to become a superstar. His character and personality impressed me straight away. He stepped in as a young player and looked as if he’d played forever – never scared. He would stand up to anyone, no matter their status

2017 03 10 Retrieve

[Quotes on Didier Drogba] In all their very important matches he has put a stamp on it. Drogba has been fantastic for Chelsea, not only for the goals that he scores but also for unbelievable defending. He has quite an extraordinary example of leadership on the pitch. If you are playing alongside someone like him you feel even more excited. [. . .] he is one of the guys who has made the fortune for Chelsea. Whatever he does he has become a legend for us

2017 03 11 Retrieve

[Quotes on Frank Lampard] He’s one of those midfielders who can score goals, especially when it comes to tight games. Everyone expects the strikers to score but actually Frank got the goals. But Frank has done better than just that because he keeps scoring all the time. I don’t think there is any other midfielder in the world who has scored as many goals as him

2017 03 12 Retrieve

[Quotes on Frank Lampard] He’s been an outstanding player for Chelsea but also for the league. He’s an amazing player. I saw him when he first came to Chelsea and he was very young then and wasn’t the player he is now. But his attitude was fantastic. You could see he was going to become somebody important. I’m pleased to say he’s one of those guys who deserves everything he’s won

2019 05 22 Retrieve

[Quotes on Frank Lampard the manager] You can understand when somebody has a future in this position because to succeed as a coach you really need to have the ability to think over things. It seemed to me that Frank has always had this ability. It’s not a surprise for me he’s doing well and he’s going to do well

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Quote on Zlatan] When he’s on form, he’s unstoppable. He’s at the same level as [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi. He has the strength, the technique and the intelligence. He’s an extraordinary player

2020 05 12 Retrieve

[Blues legend Gianfranco Zola says Loftus-Cheek can be ‘amazing’ for Chelsea despite 12 months out] There’s so many right now in the Premier League that are exciting to watch. The front players for Liverpool, many others. I like [James] Maddison a lot from Leicester, he’s a player that has very good potential. I also like very much last year Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He’s a player that, if he can recover his physical potential, he can be an amazing player. Players like [Eden] Hazard were special last year, he was unbelievable. There is one player that is a game-changer and that is [Kevin] De Bruyne for City. He knows how to do everything, he can set people up for an assist, he can score, he can defend, he can build the play. I think he’s becoming an amazing player

2020 05 30 Retrieve

[Gianfranco Zola says Hazard & Willian suffered under Sarri] They were talented players, like Hazard and Willian, players who know how to win games on their own, but they were suffering from the type of exercises and type of training we were doing - but it was necessary for the others. I’ll be honest, they were brilliant because they got bored, but they kept doing it throughout and that was the reason why when everyone was dropping we were going up towards the end

At the beginning, the players were very much behind everything that we were saying, they were brilliant. They were following everything, but then as the weeks passed due to the repetition and the amount of games they were playing, the players got tired and they also got bored in a way. But boring is part of our job. Sometimes you need to get bored but when you get bored you persist in what you’re doing and you get better. I remember that when I was learning to play football, kicking a ball for example, I used to do it 300-400 times a day at least. There were moments when I got tired but I needed to do it repeatedly because if I wanted it to become a part of me, this was the process I needed to go through.