Mata has made an instant impact since arriving in August from Valencia.
"Gianfranco Zola was an incredibly talented player, a really high-quality footballer, who scored a lot of goals and was involved in setting up a lot of goals as well. On arriving here at Chelsea, it's quite clear that he's a legend and that people have a lot of respect for him," Mata told Chelsea magazine.
"That's what he deserves, as he was a brilliant player. I remember when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played in Spain, for Atletico Madrid, and he scored a lot of goals. People in Spain would call him 'The Hasselbaink Rifle' because he would always be shooting!"