The Italian, who led the Blues to a Champions League and FA Cup double last season, was given his marching orders in the wake of Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Juventus.
Di Matteo, who has already been replaced by Rafael Benítez at Stamford Bridge, says he was “honoured” to have coached the west Londoners and admits Chelsea’s Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich last season is the highlight of his career.
“It was an honour for me to be appointed manager of a club that I loved playing for and one that is so close to my heart,” said Di Matteo in a statement released by the League Managers Association.
“I am extremely proud of the successes and trophies that we were able to bring to the club in recent months.
“Lifting Chelsea’s first Champions League trophy, in Munich, was the best achievement in club history and without doubt the highlight of my career to date, both as a player and manager. It is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.
“I have a deep and unreserved passion for Chelsea Football Club and I would like to sincerely thank all of the staff, my players and of course the Chelsea fans, for their tremendous and unconditioned support in the intense time I have been the manager at the Bridge.
“I wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond.”
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