The 47-year old spent a glittering seven seasons at Stamford Bridge, establishing himself as a Chelsea legend, and one of the true Premier League greats. Following a two season spell with Sardinian-based club Cagliari - in which he led the club to promotion to Serie A - that ended in 2005, the Italian retired from professional football, and has since entered the realm of management.
A two year spell with West Ham - in which he achieved a Premier League top 10 finish in his first season in charge, before struggling in his second season - preceded a season and a half with Watford in the Championship. After missing out on promotion to the Premier League at two attempts in his first season, another case of 'second season syndrome' followed Zola, as he left Vicarage Road in December 2013, having not won since October.
However, for all his faults, the Italian has been praised for his style of play - coaching his teams to play the attractive football that he perfected during his playing career.
For this reason, Zola has been touted as one of the favourites to take the vacant managerial seat at Norwich City, following their relegation from the Premier League. Having announced that they intend to appoint a new manager within a week, club officials should be set to name their chosen man in the next few days, with Celtic boss Neil Lennon, Malky Mackay, and Steve Clark, as well as Zola being touted for the role.
Interim boss Neil Adams was the first man to express his interest in taking the role permanently, and Zola has followed his lead to become the first outside candidate to be considered seriously.
Quoted in the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, Zola responded to questioning concerning the role.
Asked about the opening, he said: “It’s a possibility – it’s a very good club. I like the way it’s structured. It’s a good possibility, so we will see how goes.
“I’m looking for a team. It’s been a few months but I’m ready to go again.”
Despite his failure to achieve promotion from the Championship, Norwich fans will undoubtedlty be excited if Zola was appointed. As well as being universally adored throughout England, he would bring excitement back to Carrow Road - something that has been distinctly absent for the past few seasons.