Beyond Unity Business Partner
Gianfranco Zola is one of the world’s most celebrated footballers, a BU business partner and key member of its global fellowship. Though Gianfranco is known around the world for his incredible performances with the Italian National Team, Chelsea, Parma, Napoli and others, he is a kind, humble man whose best move isn’t with his feet, but his ever-gracious smile.
He spent the first decade of his playing career playing in Italy, most notably with Napoli, alongside Diego Maradona and Careca, where he was able to win the Serie A title, and at Parma, where he won the Italian Super Cup and the UEFA Cup. He later moved to English side Chelsea, where he was voted the Football Writers' Player of the Year in the 1996–97 season.
During his time at the club, he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, two FA Cups, the League Cup, and the Community Shield. In 2003, he was voted Chelsea's greatest player ever. He was capped 35 times for Italy from his debut in 1991, appearing at the 1994 World Cup, where Italy finished in second place, and Euro 1996.
After a stint with Italy under-21s, Zola began his club managerial career with West Ham United of the Premier League in 2008 in the Premier League. He was manager of Watford from July 2012 until he announced his resignation on 16 December 2013. From December 2014 to March 2015 he managed Cagliari in Serie A. He returned to Chelsea as the assistant of new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri on 18 July 2018, ahead of the 2018–19 Premier League season.
Gianfranco has excelled as a manager, combining his skills and experience from the pitch with a deeper leadership awareness honed throughout his lifetime.