Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola, as he signed for Chelsea on November 8, 1996. The Chelsea legend went on to achieve many great things at the club, and his skills on the ball was one of the greatest Stamford Bridge faithful has ever witnessed.
John Terry paid tribute to the legend. He said: “When he came, his professionalism stood out,” Terry says. “He was such a big name in world football but he really took to the younger players. I was only 16, doing my YTS, but he had so much time for everyone. He always wanted to help us younger players and give us advice.
“I’d always try to watch the way he prepared for training and games. As a kit boy I used to have to be in at 7.30am or 8am in the morning and he would come in at the same time. He’d be in the gym stretching and doing strength work which, back then, was unheard of really, so he was very much ahead of his time. It was great to pick his brains and we’d always be asking him questions about what he was doing and why he was doing certain things.
“He ended up making a head-tennis court in the gym, it was only tiny but he got the tape out and we’d use a little ball, he used to beat us all every morning. He was such a big star but to see how he prepared for training and what he ate was great, he took care of himself in every way.” He told the official Chelsea website.