Chelsea appoint Roberto Di Matteo as manager on two-year contract
Roberto Di Matteo is appointed Chelsea's permanent manager and first-team coach on a two-year contract
Chelsea have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their permanent manager on a two-year contract.
The 42-year-old becomes Roman Abramovich’s eighth head coach at Chelsea since the Russian took control of the Stamford Bridge outfit in 2003.
Di Matteo oversaw a dramatic turnaround in Chelsea’s fortunes after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas on an interim basis for the final 11 weeks of the season.
The Blues beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley, before sealing their first-ever Champions League crown with a penalty-shootout victory over Bayern Munich.
“I’m obviously delighted to have been appointed as manager and first-team coach,” said Di Matteo.
“We all achieved incredible success last season that made history for this great club.
“Our aim is to continue building on that and I’m already planning and looking forward to the squad’s return for pre-season.”
Chelsea chairman Ron Gourlay added: “Roberto’s quality was clear for all to see when he galvanised the squad last season and helped the club make history, and the owner and board are very pleased he will be continuing his good work.
“We all believed he was a young coach with much to offer when we first asked him to take charge of team affairs in March and the manner in which he worked with us, the players and all the staff, and the success that followed, made him the clear choice when it came to selecting the person to take us forward in the seasons to come.
“We will be working closely with Roberto in the weeks ahead, some exciting signings have already been made and Roberto has had input into those.
“Although he has set the bar very high in the short time he has been in charge, we know that Roberto is the right man to lead Chelsea onto further success.”
Roberto Di Matteo fact-file
• Having won 34 caps for Italy, Di Matteo sustained a triple leg fracture in a Uefa Cup tie against FC St Gallen early in the 2000-01 campaign and was forced to retire in February 2002. Then-manager Claudio Ranieri asked him to lead out the team for the 2002 FA Cup Final, which Chelsea lost to Arsenal.
• He took charge of MK Dons in July 2008 and, having finished third in the English third tier, was appointed by West Brom the following summer.
• In his first season at The Hawthorns, he led the club to second place in the Championship and promotion to the Premier League but he was sacked in February 2011.
• In June 2011, Di Matteo returned to Chelsea as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas and, following the Portuguese coach’s dismissal in March 2012, he was appointed as interim first-team coach for the remainder of the season.