Zola back in Italy, in line for a recall? ;) (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Dec 13, 2002

I hope so :extatic: But it will probably piss Baggio off :D

Seriously... I can't wait to see him in action for the Old Boys Azzuri...


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
There should be an over-30 squadra competition :D Maldini, Albertini, Baggio, Zola... Italy would rule ;)


Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
What SoccerAge exclusively anticipated last week came true this afternoon. Gianfranco Zola has signed with Serie B side Cagliari, a move that brings him back to his home island Sardegna.

The former Chelsea magician will be presented to the press this evening at the Centro Sportivo of Assemini.

During the presentation Cagliari chairman Cellino will also reveal the extent of the contract signed by Zola.

Sources close to SoccerAge are revealing it's a two year deal.


I also heard that there will be a friendly match between Chelsea and Cagliari .. Zola will play a half with each team :cool:


Senior Member
Mar 26, 2003
me too, that would be soo sweet, we would have ferrara too, man it would be classic, brazil would be like bebeto, romario, dunga, all the classics from the early 90s, ah the good ol'days.


Junior Member
Jun 18, 2003
++ [ originally posted by Alex ] ++
Well Zola signs for Cagliari at the age of 37 after 6 years at Chelsea. Now that he's back in Italy, maybe Trap will call him back to the national team... :D:cool:
I would like to see that too! Unfortunately I doubt it, considering he wasn't even called up regularly when he was in his prime. Hopefully he can help Cagliari get up to Serie A. It'd be great seeing Zola playing in Serie A again.


Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
++ [ originally posted by dpforever ] ++

I also heard that there will be a friendly match between Chelsea and Cagliari .. Zola will play a half with each team :cool:
That would be so cool! :cool:


Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
When news broke that Gianfranco Zola will return home to captain his boyhood team Cagliari, our worst fears were realised.

Despite the nagging feeling that Franco was to leave, the sudden realisation of knowing we had seen the last of the magician in a Blues shirt is difficult to get my head around.

Usually when a player of Zola's age leaves a club, it is more sentimentality that makes it hard to say goodbye.

But the little fella is no ordinary footballer - not only we will miss him being around the place, but as last season showed, he still has so much to offer. It seems a shame that our second Champions League campaign, which he fought so hard to earn, will be lacking a player with such a wealth of experience and talent.

Since his arrival in 1996, it was clear that he was different to most other players.

Although already thirty, the way he played was fresh and more like a man years younger. Nobody with this much flair and creativity had been seen down the Bridge for many a year - if ever. His hero status was summed up earlier this season, when he won the supporters' survey for greatest Chelsea player ever. Just one look at some of the names behind him in this poll will give an indication of how great an honour this is.

Unfortunately I'm not old enough to have watched some of the greats of the past in the flesh - the League winning side of 1955 for example, or the Cup-winning side of the early Seventies. So although I couldn't comment on them, I know from first hand experience that Franco is the best player I've seen in the Blues shirt.

If you've seen Zola train, or even just watched him in the warm-up, you know he is a different class. It's well known that at Napoli he replaced a certain Diego Maradona. And the on-field comparisons are there for all to see.

Of course, off the field though, the Sardinian is a true gentleman, and respected by all true football fans up and down the country.

In an age where so many foreign mercenaries have slagged off and disrespected the English game, he has truly embraced it and has consistently been a breath of fresh air with his excellent attitude and tremendous sportsmanship. How many players do you know who've been given a standing ovation by all four sides of the ground on so many occasions?

Thoughts have now turned to magic Zola moments.

To be honest, there's far too many to list, with every five minutes another goal or trick popping into my head. And not just the famous goals, such as the Cup-Winners' Cup Final winner in Stockholm, or his FA Cup semi-final strike in 1997.

This season his goal against Blackburn in our 3-2 fightback at Ewood back in September, and his cheeky lob vs. Everton stick out in my mind.

Even in his last game (it feels so strange to write that!) he delighted us with his dazzling array of stopovers and tricks to leave an entire Liverpool defence dumbfounded. Having a quick glance at End of Season videos of years' gone by have thrown up magic Zola goals left, right and centre. He rarely scores tap-ins, does he?

My personal favourite may well be his back-heel against Norwich in the cup last year. Not just for the excellence, the cheekiness of it, but for his statement afterwards dedicated it to a late young Chelsea fan he had met in hospital a few weeks prior. If the goal summed up the majestic nature of his game, then the dedication summed up the heart of gold he has to go with it.

Hopefully we will have our chance to say thanks and goodbye in the pre-season, with reports of a Blues vs Cagliari friendly at the Bridge.

We hope that stories about Zola's annoyance at the Chelsea board have been over-exaggerated. Franco is not the sort of guy to hold a grudge, and he is likely to be more aggrieved that he will never play for the Blues again rather than anything else.

He had to stick true to his word (ever the gentleman) and join Cagliari after promising them prior to the Chelski revolution and late improved deal that came with it.

I'm sure you'll join me in wishing him luck in his season captaining the team he supported as a child, and here's hoping that it won't be too long before we see him back at the Bridge in some sort of coaching role.

Arrivederci Gianfranco, thanks for the 312 wonderful memories.

This article first appeared on the excellent blueandwhitearmy.net


Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
I truly believe that Zola was the most popular player in the Premiership because not only Chelsea fans loved him but all fans of other clubs also respected him. Other legends like Cantona where only loved by thier fans and were usually disliked by other clubs' fans - but not Zola.

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