Zola: Watford promotion would be best moment of my career

The former Chelsea man is looking forward to the Championship play-off final and feels victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley could top all his achievements as a player
Watford manager Gianfranco Zola says that winning promotion to the Premier League would be one of the best moments of his career, as he prepares to take on Crystal Palace at Wembley on Monday.

The former Italy international enjoyed great success as a player, winning the league title in Italy with Napoli as well as the Uefa Cup with Parma and two FA Cups with Chelsea.

However, the 46-year-old feels that victory on Monday would mean more to him than the trophies he won as a player.

"Winning this game will be one of the most important [of my] achievements,” he told reporters.

"As a manager, everything is multiplied, so if it happens, then it is going to be amazing and I am sure I will celebrate the same way I celebrated when we won the first FA Cup with Chelsea at Wembley."

Watford finished the season in third place before beating Leicester in thrilling fashion in the play-off semi-finals, a victory Zola admits will live long in the memory.

"As a footballer, you feel you played at different venues in important games, and you think that you lived all the experiences in football, the good and bad ones, but as a manager it amplifies everything - that is what happened to me against Leicester, I went back 20 years. Fortunately for me it was a good feeling, and that was great," he added.

"I have been blessed to have enjoyed a fantastic career, with some very good moments, but to win this one would have it rated as one of the best because of everything you go through as a manager.

“You take in every player's emotion, positive and not positive so you live everything.”