Di Matteo was dismissed after 262 days in charge in the wake of the Blues’ 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus on Tuesday, with Rafael Benítez taking over on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Di Matteo led the west Londoners to an historic FA Cup and Champions League double last season and Mata was full of praise for the coach following his sacking.
“The week we have been through has not been an easy one,” Mata wrote in his blog on grada360.com. I would like to thank Roberto for all this time with us.
“We spent very good moments together, some others not so good, but he will always be remembered as the manager with whom we conquered our first Champions League.
“Because of that, and because as a player he is a ‘Blue’ legend to our fans, his name will always be part of Chelsea’s history.
“From a personal point of view he gave me confidence and support.”
Mata added that he and his team-mates plan to do all they can to help Benítez usher in a new successful era at Stamford Bridge.
“We want the best for Chelsea and, as we did when [Andre] Villas-Boas was sacked and Robbie came, we will work hard with Rafa Benítez, our new manager.
“I hope we can be successful again with him and his staff. With hard work and effort we can win trophies again.”
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