"I can't say I ever saw Franco as a manager," he told the Daily Mail. "Although that's true of a lot of players. I never thought Frank Rijkaard would go into management. Or Marco van Basten.
"I was just talking to Gary Pallister and he said the same about Roy Keane, Mark Hughes, Paul Ince. I never thought I'd be a manager but an opportunity suddenly presents itself and you go for it. Because you love the game. Because we all love the game. It's in our blood.
"You know what I missed most when I was in LA? Reading about football in the newspapers. Out there it's just baseball, baseball, baseball. Here I love to read the sports pages. It's part of my culture."
Gullit agrees that, for a first job in management, West Ham is a difficult challenge for Zola.
"It is, but it was probably something he found impossible to resist. I hope he does well. He has a lot of experience at international level and in two of the best leagues in the world.
"The man management side of things is what he will have to learn. That can be the hard bit. And it's not so much the guys who play. It's the guys who don't play."