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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zola Set for Ruud's Italian Strikeforce

LONDON -- Italian international striker Gianfranco Zola said he was looking forward to working with compatriot Gianluca Vialli in order to help Chelsea capture the English Premier League title.


"I think we can play well together and we won't have any problems," said Zola after completing the formalities of his ?4.5 million ($7.4 million) move to the London side.


"I believe I can help him to score goals and that with him I can help the team to reach our aims," the 30-year-old Sardinian said.


"If Chelsea want to win the league then I want to be part of that. I certainly think that this team will be in Europe next season and perhaps even better than that. We are fifth now and I am sure we can progress from there."


Zola, who has signed a 3 1/2-year deal, said he had asked another Italian at Chelsea, Roberto di Matteo, and Middlesbrough's Fabrizio Ravanelli for advice about the move from Italy's Parma.


"They told me that English football is good," he said. They say it's hard and strong but that the football is good, that I can play well and live well here.


"Perhaps there will be some problems in adapting at the start but I think I can overcome them. The thing I love about English football is the atmosphere in the grounds and I want to be part of that."


Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit said Zola could help to fulfill the dreams of Chelsea vice chairman and benefactor Matthew Harding, who was killed when the helicopter he was riding incrashed three weeks ago.


"This is what Matthew would have wanted," Gullit said. "He had a dream for Chelsea and now we can help deliver that dream."


Gullit added: "I think with Gianfranco that his qualities are obvious. He has great technical ability and he sees the game very well.


"I think it's vital for us that he is the sort of player who can decide a game with his vision, technique and ability to open it up from even ordinary situations."


Gullit said Zola's arrival did not mean there would be no place for Welsh international striker Mark Hughes.


"Nobody has to go," Gullit said. "If you look at our last few games Mark Hughes has been outstanding, a great help to the team.