Gianfranco Zola - Maurizio Sarri

Gianfranco Zola admits he thought a call from Maurizio Sarri offering him a potential job at Chelsea was a prank.

Zola returned to Stamford Bridge this summer as assistant to new manager Maurizio Sarri.

As a player, Zola was a cult hero in west London, helping the club to win multiple cup competitions and wowing the locals with some exceptional moments of brilliance.

Speaking in an interview, Zola, who quit as manager of Birmingham just four months into his role last season, admitted he couldn’t believe Sarri wanted his services at Chelsea.

He said: “I thought it was a prank call! I was surprised, I didn’t expect that. He told me there was a possibility if I was interested and I said: ‘yes I’m coming!’ It was a big surprise.

“We had only spoken on the phone a couple of times and had met him briefly when interviewing him for Sky Italia, but we never spoke about football or anything outside of that.

“It’s amazing for me to come back. It’s been a blessing. I didn’t expect to be back working for this club again, especially with a coach who I like very much. It’s great for me – there’s lots of work to do though.”

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