Roberto Di Matteo appointed as Chelsea manager

 

Chelsea have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their full-time coach on a two-year contract.

The Blues have moved to confirm the Italian as their permanent boss just three weeks after he led them to their first Champions League title while in interim charge.

Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas for the final 11 weeks of the season and inspired a stunning rejuvenation of a side that had been deemed too old, as they won the FA Cup before their famous penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Di Matteo, who turned 42 last month, was ecstatic to take on the role permanently.

"I'm obviously delighted to have been appointed as manager and first-team coach," Di Matteo said.

"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."

Despite Di Matteo's success there was speculation Chelsea would look elsewhere for a full-time boss, with Pep Guardiola apparently atop their wish-list following his departure from Barcelona.

Owner Roman Abramovich was said to be keen to bring in Guardiola despite the Spaniard showing little interest in revoking his decision to take a year's sabbatical from the game.

Rumours Guardiola could be swayed grew stronger as the weeks passed since Chelsea's Munich triumph, but in confirming Di Matteo's appointment today chief executive Ron Gourlay labelled the former Blues midfielder the "right man to lead Chelsea onto further success".

Gourlay also revealed Di Matteo had been involved in the decision to make recent signings with the club having already made the big-money capture of Eden Hazard following the end of last season.

"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," he said.

"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.

"We are already looking forward to the 2012-13 season which kicks off when Roberto, his staff and players return for pre-season."

Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins, who left the club shortly before Di Matteo filled the same role, believes the decision to hire the 42-year-old full-time will bring much-needed stability to the Stamford Bridge club.

"I'm delighted for him. It'll be nice to see that interim manager title now taken away," he said.

"I think Mr Abramovich was hanging on to see if Pep Guardiola wanted to come out from his year-long retirement. I think it's no secret he sees him as the man to take Chelsea forward.

"I don't think he has to change too much but I think there will be a few changes - with new players coming in whether it's the summer or in the December/January transfer window.

"Roberto in his wisdom selected older lads towards the latter stages of the season and it was fruitful. You need the senior players - your club is only as good as the senior players in it.

"They were playing with smiles on their faces and they got away with things (against Barcelona and Bayern Munich) through sheer persistence and endeavour.

"Roberto put a smile back in the dressing room. The confidence was pretty evident towards the end of the season.

"It's very important they bring a bit of stability back into the club and I think it'll go well for him.

"He's a former Chelsea player so the fans can relate to him as player and manager. It's not often you get a manager come in and within six months win the FA Cup and the Champions League.

"But now it's extremely difficult to surpass what you've already done. It's going to be a very tough season for him."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss