Gianfranco Zola takes over at Cagliari
The 48-year-old Italian footballing legend is returning home.
Cagliari have gone for the popularity vote with their latest managerial hiring, with Sardinia native Gianfranco Zola returning home to take charge of the club at which he ended his playing career almost a decade ago. He replaces Zdeněk Zeman, who was sacked on Tuesday with the rossoblù struggling in Serie A’s bottom three.
Zola, who is regarded as one of Italy’s greatest footballers ever, has only had previous managerial experience in England. In 2008, he took charge of West Ham United, though he was sacked after finishing only five points clear of the relegation zone a couple of years later. In 2012, Zola took charge of second-tier club Watford, and enjoyed an outstanding first season in which he led the club to an agonising playoff defeat. However, his second season wasn’t quite as good, and he resigned with the club in mid-table a year later.
So, it has been a pretty mixed bag for Zola so far, but his popularity in Sardinia will mean there won’t be too many fans dissatisfied with Cagliari gambling on his appointment. However, there’s no doubt this will be Zola’s toughest test yet. As we approach the midway point of the season, they’re deep in a real relegation scrap.