Zola is still widely regarded as one of the Premier League's most successful foreign players ever, but fears Brexit may cause others to stay away.
Zola is one of the most successful foreign players in Premier League history
Zola arrived at Stamford Bridge from Parma in 1996, eventually going on to establish himself as one of the Premier League's most successful foreign imports, scoring 59 league goals to write his name into Chelsea folklore.
The success of Zola, who is still a firm fan favourite in west London, and other foreign players is widely credited as a key reason for the success of the Premier League, which is now one of the most marketable brands in world sport.
However, with Britain choosing to leave the EU by way of Thursday's referendum, Zola believes it could become more difficult for players on the continent to exercise their freedom of movement and earn a move to England's top flight.
“It is inevitable it will affect the football world,” the Italian told Goal. “It will be more difficult to come and play here for a lot of footballers and it could cause problems taking into account that clubs from other countries now may have a slight advantage.
“In any case, we are talking about something so important it will cause a shock in every world market, not just in England.”