Milan - Serie A strugglers Cagliari have sacked coach Gianfranco Zola on Monday following a poor run of results which has left them in danger of relegation from Italy's top flight.
"Cagliari announces the dismissal of Gianfranco Zola and his staff from the first team," said a statement by the Sardinia-based club.
Zola took over from Zdenek Zeman before Christmas, but despite a brief spell of hope the former Chelsea forward ultimately saw his side lose six of the 10 games under his leadership, for two wins and two draws.
Speculation suggests Cagliari could now re-hire Zeman for the remainder of the season as they bid to beat the drop - they are currently third from bottom, four points shy of Atalanta - but in the meantime the club paid tribute to Zola.
Born and bred on Sardinia, Zola is still considered one of the island's best footballing exports despite having only played for Cagliari after his more famous seven-year spell with Premier League giants Chelsea.
Cagliari's statement added: "The decision was not an easy one given the greatness of a man who has written unforgettable pages in the history of Cagliari and who has represented Sardinia with prestige on the international stage.
"We would like to thank him and his staff for dedicating themselves to the job in a professional and passionate manner and wish them all the best for the future."