"I have a lot of admiration for Giggs," said the West Ham manager. "He is a fantastic player and although I was on the opposite side I enjoy watching players like him.
"I think he is a very good advertisement for football, and for young players. When somebody has got such a talent, it's all down to the desire. If you have the desire to carry on playing and enjoy challenging yourself, you can play for many years.
"It's up to him, but when I was at his age I just didn't want to give up, I wanted to get better and better, that's why I kept playing for more years. And looking at him, I am sure he has the same desire.
"I would have him at West Ham, please! He is one of those players you would love to have in your team."
Giggs' contract expires at the end of the season and the 35-year-old, currently taking his coaching badges, has hinted at moving to the coaching side.
Such is the esteem United supporters hold Giggs, a player with 28 major titles during his time at Old Trafford, that a petition has begun, urging United to retire the number 11 shirt once he decides to retire.
Sir Alex Ferguson has no doubts about the importance of Giggs' contribution. "He is a credit to the game," said the United manager. "If anyone wants an example of how to dedicate themselves to football, you could have no greater example than Ryan Giggs."
Giggs retired from international football in 2007 in an attempt to extend his domestic career, but at West Ham a player 10 years younger was attempting to impress England manager Fabio Capello ahead of the friendly in Spain on Wednesday.
Carlton Cole failed to score but Zola believes he has an international future. Zola said: "If I was in Fabio's position I would have had a very good impression of Carlton Cole, especially in the second half (against Manchester United). I think he's going to be a very, very good player for him.
"I've only been in the job six months so I can't really say to Fabio 'do this. do that', but I am sure he will be a good player for him, whether he plays (on Wednesday) or not. Carlton is a player who is improving and I am sure he'll get better and better."