Roberto Di Matteo ‘calm’ ahead of Chelsea’s date with destiny
Chelsea interim boss Roberto Di Matteo calls on his players to take their chance to make history in the Champions League final
Roberto Di Matteo has urged his Chelsea players to take their opportunity to make history by beating Bayern Munich to lift the Champions League on Saturday.
Interim boss Di Matteo, who took charge of the Blues in March following Andre Villas-Boas’s dismissal, has masterminded a remarkable turnaround at Stamford Bridge, leading the Londoners to FA Cup glory and navigating their way past holders Barcelona to book their spot in the Munich final.
And the 41-year-old Italian, with his future at the club still uncertain, has told his players that they must “make their own destiny” when they line up at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
“I am very focused on the game, I don’t know what the future will hold,” he said when quizzed about his future. “I’m not thinking personally. I just try to think about this team. I feel responsible about the club as well, it’s a bit unselfish but it’s the way I think.
“You make your own destiny and fate. Chelsea have always done well reaching the last stages of this competition. You always need a little bit of luck in a cup competition as well.
“I believe my players have all the qualities you need to win this competition. Those qualities have taken us to this stage and I’m very positive and very confident now.”
Di Matteo said he has spoken to all of his players at length on an individual basis as he tried to restore some of the confidence that had seemingly deserted them under Villas-Boas
“Confidence plays a big part in an athlete’s life,” he continued. “It was important to remember these are fantastic football players and have been for many years.
“You don’t lose it in half a season or so, so it was a question of reinstalling a bit of confidence in every player, and the group.”
Asked about what he plans to say in his pre-match team talk, Di Matteo added: “I think it will very much depend on the environment in the dressing room. I don’t have a script.
“I try to sense the atmosphere and then work off that. We don’t have a movie, we have some different ideas we are going to use.”
Pre-match facts: Bayern Munich v Chelsea
• Bayern have won 14 of their last 15 European home games and their victory against City left them with a home record against English clubs of W10 D5 L1.
• The only English side to have beaten Bayern in Munich are Norwich City, 2-1 victors in a Uefa Cup second round tie in 1993.
• Chelsea have won just once on their travels in this season’s competition and have already lost in Germany, 2-1 at Bayer Leverkusen.
• Bayern have won one and lost two of three previous European Cup finals against English clubs. They also lost the 2001 Uefa Super Cup 3-2 to Liverpool.