Gianfranco Zola, the player-coach for the Chelsea Legends side which more than played its part in an entertaining and successful fundraising match in Madrid on Sunday evening, gave his verdict on the event to the official Chelsea website afterwards.
The game against Real Madrid Legends, highlights of which can be viewed above, ended 5-4 in the Spaniards’ favour but not before the Blues side had fought back from 3-0 down and scored some lovely goals.
‘The players did well, considering we had a few physical issues,’ Zola declared before leaving the Bernabeu which had hosted 60,000 fans with the money going to Real Madrid’s Foundation.
‘We did very well and in the end it was competitive and it was a great game. All the crowd, the organisation, fantastic!
‘There were some nice moves and some nice goals. The players may be lacking a little bit of physical condition and a little bit of strength in the legs but ability is ability.’
One of the goals, headed in by Gustavo Poyet from a Florent Malouda cross, was reminiscent of the Uruguayan at his peak with his movement and aerial ability. Zola too went close to levelling the scores at 5-5 with a free-kick that also reminded everyone of his playing days. He had not brought himself on until well into the second half.
‘I did not know if I could play because I have been training for a month and three days ago I was running and I felt a little pain so I did not know but Martin, our physio, did a fantastic job and he allowed me to play so I was pleased with that.
‘Gustavo’s goal was unbelievable – he has this power. He is always at the right time and in the right place.
‘My free-kick was not far away - it was very close. Maybe I gave it too much power. I should have done less power.’
The full game may be watched now in our Videos section