posted on Oct, 30 2004 @ 05:52 AM
The British Embassy are to award Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola an OBE at a ceremony in Rome on Monday.
The former Italy international spent seven years with Chelsea and won six major medals before returning to his native Sardinia in 2003 to finish his
career with Cagliari.
Zola is one of the best-loved overseas footballers to have played in England and was nominated for the honour for his charity work as well as his
impact on the Premiership.
A statement from the British Embassy described Zola as: ''the most enduring and popular foreign player in the history of Chelsea Football Club.
''The 2002/03 season was his last with Chelsea, and he left the club with style, scoring 16 goals.
''Despite the pleas of the fans to remain with the team, he decided to return to his native Sardinia in 2003, having made a remarkable contribution to
Zola scored 80 times in 312 appearances for the Blues following his 4.5million move from Parma in 1996.