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Home -> Blogs -> Free Kick -> Fall From Grace Friday: Roberto Di Matteo

Fall From Grace Friday: Roberto Di Matteo

Mar 04, 2016 14:27

What do Sir Alex Fergusson, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Louis van Gaal and Roberto Di Matteo have in common? They have all won the Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti did it with Milan and Madrid, Sir Alex with Manchester United and Di Matteo with Chelsea. The difference is, Di Matteo did it with a struggling Chelsea squad that only qualified for the next edition of the Champions League by winning it. Just his 4th month in-charge of the blues, the Italian managed to win the most prestigious trophy with an English side that finished 6th in the Premier League. As a Player for Chelsea, he managed to score 26 goals in just 120 appearances. Intrigued? Let’s find out more about Roberto Di Matteo’s career in Football.

As a player:

Born in Switzerland to Italian parents Chieti & Abruzzo from Paglieta, Roberto Di Matteo, began his career with Swiss club Schaffhausen. He represented the Swiss club for 3 seasons while making 50 appearances and scoring 2 goals. He then played for Zurich post which he moved to Aarau. With Aarau, he won the 1992-1993 edition of the Swiss Nationalliga A while also winning the League's Player of the Year award in the same season.

- Di Matteo With Aarau

In the Summer of 1993, the Italian international signed for Lazio on a free transfer where he cemented his place in the club’s playing XI. His consistency and quality earned him a call up for the national side. He made 87 appearances scored 7 goals for Lazio and made 10 appearances for the national side between 1993 and 96.

- Di Matteo for Italy

In his last match for Lazio against Internazionale, he made a defensive error which cost them the game and ultimately lead to his exit from Lazio. It was Chelsea who signed the Italian for a record fee of £4.9 million and Di Matteo repaid their faith by scoring in his debut against Middlesbrough. A midfielder who could play as a anchor man or as a attacking threat Di Matteo was the missing piece of the puzzle for The Blues. In his very first season, the Italian lead Chelsea to FA Cup Glory while scoring the first goal in the finals against Middlesbrough in 42 seconds.

- Chelsea's Di Matteo with the FA Cup

The consistent performer’s long passing ability and accuracy were key attributes that helped the club vastly. During his time with Chelsea, the Italian won the FA Cup twice, the Community Shield, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the League Cup once. He suffered a triple fracture early in the 2000-01 season, in a European Cup tie against Swiss side St. Gallen that kept him sidelined for 18 months. He retired in February 2002 at the age of 31 after he announced that he won’t make a comeback after his injury. Claudio Ranieri, then Chelsea manager, handed Di Matteo the honour of leading the Chelsea team out in the 2002 FA Cup Final. The midfielder made 120 appearances for The Blues while scoring 26 goals in all competitions.

- Di Matteo's stats as a player

As a Manager:

Di Matteo was the manager of MK DONS and West Bromwich Albion whom he managed between 2008 and 2011. As the manager of MK Dons, he maintained a win percentage of almost 52% and losing 14 of his 52 matches in charge. For WBA he was in charge for 83 games and won 49% of his games and lost 24.

- Di Matteo Managing MK Dons and West Brom

After being relieved of his duties by WBA, he applied for Birmingham City. The English Club rejected his application and Di Matteo returned to Chelsea and was appointed as an assistant to Andre Villas-Boas in June of 2011.

The Italian was appointed as their care-taker of Chelsea following Villas-Boas’ dismissal in March of 2012. Di Matteo changed things around by in a few months time and at the end of the season, Chelsea had managed to win the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League while finishing 6th in the league. Chelsea secured their first European Silverware under him.

- Di Matteo with Chelsea as their Manager

He maintained an impressive 57% win record with Chelsea and lost just 9 of his 42 matches in charge of The Blues. Following his Champions League heroics, The Italian manager was appointed as head coach and given a year’s contract. The Blues struggled in the second season despite starting strong and he was sacked on 21st November 2012, following a 3 – 0 loss to Juventus in his 8th month as the Chelsea’s manager and Rafael Benitez was appointed as caretaker of the London based outfit the very same day.

- Di Matteo's Stats as a manager

Almost a year and a half later, the 45 year old was snapped up by Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04, becoming the 3rd Italian Manager in the history of The German League. He lead the German team to many impressive victory however, the most memorable one was against La Liga Giants – Real Madrid. Despite losing 2 – 0 to the side that seemed superior on the pitch, the second leg score-line read 4 – 3 in the favour of the German side and their never-say-die attitude which was inculcated by the Italian was clearly visible on the pitch. The former blues player was sacked as Schalke failed to qualify for Europe, following a string of poor results which saw the German side win just 2 of their final 10 games.

- Di Matteo Managing Schalke

He has played and managed multiple sides and has done considerably well but, Where is he now?

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