Gianfranco Zola picks Diego Maradona in his Ultimate 5-A-Side team for Soccer AM, describing his former Napoli teammate as the 'best player ever'.
Gianfranco Zola picks his ultimate five-a-side team, made up of former team-mates – and when he can afford to leave out Paolo Maldini and Roberto Baggio, you know it is a useful side!
Having started his career in Sardinia, firstly with Nuorese and then Torres, Zola moved to Napoli in 1989, won the league title in his first season, and during a four-year spell, scored 32 goals in 105 games before joining Parma, playing 102 games and netting 49 goals.
I played with very good goalkeepers but the one that stands out is Buffon. He was very young when I played with him, it was his first game in Serie A, he had been training with us for a while and he was nearly impossible to score against. He was unbelievable covering the goal! He would come out two or three steps and then make himself so, so big that it was really difficult. I'm not making this up! He was an unbelievable goalkeeper!
It goes without saying! He was one of those players who didn't talk too much, very quiet. You expect when you go to play for the national team and you're going to be playing with Baresi, because he is such a big character, that he is going to be very vocal but actually it was exactly the opposite. Very quiet but a lot of stuff going on. He was the captain and he was a classic example of leading by example.