Gianfranco Zola admits he’d “love to be the Coach of Napoli” and feels Roberto Mancini gives “a touch of Italian tactics to English football.”
‘Magic Box’ made his Serie A debut wearing the Napoli jersey and remains very close to the club.
“They are doing very well and I’m proud of my past with the Partenopei,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss.
“I think it’s good for all of Italian football that a team like Napoli are doing well, because it gives the whole League a higher standard. Besides which, the Azzurri fans are always special and fiery.”
Zola was asked if he would one day like to be on the bench at the Stadio San Paolo.
“I wouldn’t like to be misunderstood, but clearly I’d love to. I was fortunate enough to play for the best Napoli in history and those memories are vivid.
“Walter Mazzarri is doing an extraordinary job and I send him my compliments. You never know in life and one day being Coach of Napoli could be a pleasant surprise for me too. For the moment I remain a fan and am happy things are going so well for them.
“Not only can Napoli win the Scudetto, but I really hope it happens, as it would be a bonus for all of Italian football.”
The Partenopei face Manchester City in the Champions League and a head-to-head battle for qualification.
“Mancini has brought a touch of Italian tactics to English football. City are a side that are tactically astute, including in defence, which is certainly not a characteristic of English sides.
“Most of the time, teams who defend well end up winning and this is what Roberto has brought to Manchester.”
Former West Ham United manager Zola had been linked with the Inter job after Gian Piero Gasperini’s dismissal.
“Yes, I did have a few offers from Italian clubs and I was extremely pleased at that. I made a lifestyle choice, so my priority was to stay in England.
“You could say football is changing in England. The business interests around it are much stronger than before, so consequently that changes the attitude with which you approach it.
“I am still glad to say fair play remains important and, despite all the money that goes round, football remains a sport. In Italy we have lost that a little in recent years. I hope that enthusiasm will return again soon.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!