Skip to main content

Zola: Conte can do great things at Chelsea

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola is confident Antonio Conte has all the required attributes to bring success back to Stamford Bridge.

The Italy coach - who was recommended to be given a six-month suspended jail sentence by an Italian prosecutor over a match-fixing scandal on Tuesday - will join the Premier League club after Euro 2016 after agreeing a three-year contract earlier this week.

It will mark a return to club football for Conte after leaving Juventus in 2014 to take up his current role with the national team, the 46-year-old having won three consecutive Serie A titles during his time in Turin.

Chelsea will be Conte's first managerial role outside of his native Italy, but Zola believes he can bring back success to his former club after a season of disappointment that sees the soon-to-be deposed champions sitting in 10th place and out of all cup competitions.

"Antonio is a great coach, as he has also done well with the national team," Zola told La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

"His teams always leave a mark and show a lot of character. He can do great things at Chelsea

"Conte's hiring happened because Abramovich wants to win the Premier League and the Champions League.

"[He] must marry his footballing ideas with a different league, culture and country. He won't have any problems [though] as they will have watched what he did in Turin and with Italy."

Zola has advised his former international team-mate to prepare for his new adventure by learning English quickly so he can build a relationship with a "demanding" British media.

He added: "They [the media] are demanding. Conte must develop a relationship with them, but the club will not let him feel alone. 

"Antonio won't be caught out by the language either. The sooner he learns it, the quicker he will settle. Translators are not enough."