Roberto Di Matteo enjoyed an incredibly successful career at Chelsea after a transfer from Lazio. 

It was believed that a falling out with his manager at Lazio, Zdenek Zeman, over a defensive error in the loss to Inter Milan led to Ruud Gullit signing the player for a then club record fee of £4.9million in 2006.

After this move Di Matteo scored the winner in his debut game against Middlesbrough. 

He scored the then fastest goal in FA cup history, scoring after 42 seconds in the final against Middlesbrough helping Chelsea to a 2-0 victory and finding his first success in the blue of Chelsea. 

He then went on to win a further FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup in his career at Chelsea. 

Early in the 2000/2001 season, Di Matteo suffered a triple leg fracture, forcing him to retire a year and a half later. 

Di Matteo made 175 appearances and scored 26 goals in his time at Stamford Bridge.

Di Matteo began his managerial career in 2008 succeeding Paul Ince at MK Dons. 

In his only season, Di Matteo led MK Dons to third in League One, earning the Dons a play-off spot, but they were knocked out in the semi-finals, suffering at the hands of Scunthorpe on penalties. 

After his short and sweet reign at MK Dons, he was appointed West Brom manager, after Tony Mowbray could not lead the Baggies out of relegation.

In Di Matteo’s first season, he led West Brom to a second place finish in the Championship. 

The following season, Di Matteo led West Brom to their best start to a season in the Premier League ever. 

Unfortunately, during the winter period, West Brom went on a terrible run of results, leading to the dismissal of the Italian.

He then applied for the Birmingham City job, but after a rejection, Andre Villas-Boas appointed him as his assistant in June 2011. 

Following the dismissal of the young Portuguese manager, Di Matteo was appointed caretaker manager in March 2012. 

This was where he would see his best stint as a manager. He guided Chelsea to FA Cup success on May 5, defeating Liverpool in the final 2-1. 

Fourteen days later, he led his team to a famous victory against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena, defeating the German side on penalties after a 1-1 draw. 

A poor season saw Chelsea finish sixth, but after their first Champions League title, they replaced Tottenham Hotspur for the final Champions League spot for the 2012/2013 season. 

He was given the permanent managerial position after this incredible start to his Chelsea career. 

Controversially, he was then sacked on November 21 2012, after a poor run of results in the Premier League and in the Champions League.

Chelsea then insulted one of their star players in the turn of the century, and their history-making manager, by removing him from the memory of the historic night in Munich after the club replaced his image on the iconic wall at Stamford Bridge. 

The picture of the cup winning squad has now been replaced by the players and coaching staff celebrating the tremendous victory, minus the Italian.

It’s fair to say that Di Matteo was ill treated by Chelsea. The fans were loyal to the manager, but that was not reciprocated by the directors. 

Many football fans believe Di Matteo to be one of the good guys of football and would love to see him back at the helm of the football club. 

Rumours are linking him with the Fulham job after Martin Jol clashed with the board over transfer funds.

The Italian has stated back in January that he is not yet bored of being unemployed, but he admitted that the next move is an extremely important one in his career. 

“I have not yet been bored. I don't know when I'll be back (managing). The next choice will be crucial for my career."

He has not ruled out staying in England if a job arises, but has also admitted his love for Italy and would love to return to his homeland.

Either way, it would be great to see the legend back in football as soon as possible, but let’s hope it is in Britain. 

 

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Roberto Di Matteo
#West Bromwich Albion
#Chelsea
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