Roberto Di Matteo
Di Matteo as Chelsea manager in 2012
|Full name||Roberto Di Matteo|
|Date of birth||29 May 1970|
|Place of birth||Schaffhausen, Switzerland|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|2008–2009||Milton Keynes Dons|
|2009–2011||West Bromwich Albion|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Roberto Di Matteo (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto di matˈtɛo]; born 29 May 1970) is an Italian former footballer and manager. During his playing career as a midfielder, he played for Swiss clubs Schaffhausen, Zürich and Aarau before joining Lazio of Italy and Chelsea of England. He was capped 34 times for Italy, scoring two goals, and played in Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup. He retired as a player in February 2002 at the age of 31 following injury problems. He has since managed Milton Keynes Dons, West Bromwich Albion, and Chelsea. As interim manager of Chelsea, he steered the club to double title success, winning both the 2012 FA Cup and the club's first UEFA Champions League.
Born in Switzerland to Italian parents from Paglieta, Chieti, Abruzzo, Di Matteo began his career with Swiss club Schaffhausen, before joining Aarau in 1991. He won the Swiss Nationalliga A with Aarau in 1993 and in the same season achieved Switzerland's Player of the Year award.
He signed for Lazio in the summer of 1993 on a free transfer. Di Matteo became a regular in the Lazio side and made his debut for the Italian national team during his three seasons with the Rome club. However, a falling out with coach Zdeněk Zeman over a defensive error which resulted in a loss to Internazionale, ended his career with Lazio. As a result he was signed by Ruud Gullit for English side Chelsea for a then club record fee of £4.9 million.
Di Matteo scored the winner against Middlesbrough on his home debut for Chelsea. His passing ability and accurate long-distance shooting saw him become one of the driving forces of Chelsea's resurgence in the late 1990s. He contributed nine goals in his first season, including long-range efforts against both Tottenham Hotspur and Wimbledon. He helped the club finish sixth place in the league, their highest placing since 1989–90, and reach the 1997 FA Cup Final at Wembley. Within 42 seconds of the kick-off of the final against Middlesbrough, Di Matteo scored the opening goal from 30 yards and Chelsea won 2–0. Di Matteo's goal was the fastest in a Wembley FA Cup final until the record was broken by Louis Saha for Everton in 2009.
The following season Di Matteo again proved his worth to the team, contributing ten goals and numerous assists, as Chelsea went on to claim the Football League Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup, their first European honour since 1971. In the League Cup final, again against Middlesbrough, Di Matteo scored the second goal in a 2–0 win. Di Matteo played in midfield next to Gustavo Poyet, Dennis Wise and Dan Petrescu in the 1998–99 season as Chelsea finished third. During the 1999–2000 season Di Matteo was sidelined by injury but returned late in the season to score a handful of crucial goals, including his third Cup-winning goal at Wembley, once again in the FA Cup. In a dour match, Di Matteo capitalised on an error by Aston Villa goalkeeper David James to score the winner in the 71st minute, handing Chelsea their fourth major trophy in three years. This lead Di Matteo to comment on the old Wembley Stadium saying "It's a shame they're tearing the old place down it has been a very lucky ground for me".
Early into the 2000–01 season, Di Matteo sustained a triple leg fracture in a UEFA Cup tie against Swiss side St. Gallen and did not play for the next eighteen months. He gave up on hopes of returning from this injury in February 2002 and retired at the age of 31. In "gratitude for the midfielder's contribution to the transformation of the club", manager Claudio Ranieri handed Di Matteo the honour of leading the Chelsea team out in the 2002 FA Cup Final, which Chelsea went on to lose 2–0 to London rivals Arsenal. In his six years at Chelsea, Di Matteo made 175 appearances and scored 26 goals. Whilst playing at Chelsea, he never lost with the team at Old Trafford.
Di Matteo made his Italy debut under Arrigo Sacchi on 16 November 1994 in the Stadio La Favorita in Palermo, Sicily. He came on as a 55th minute substitute for Demetrio Albertini as Italy lost 2–1 to Croatia in qualification for Euro 96. He made his first start in his second cap, a friendly 3–1 victory over Turkey on 21 December 1994 in the Stadio Adriatico in Pescara. Di Matteo played two of Italy's group matches in Euro 96, against Russia and Germany. His first goal was scored on his 23rd cap, in qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, on 30 April 1997 in a 3–0 win against Poland in Catania. Di Matteo only scored one more goal for Italy, in a friendly win over Slovakia on 28 January 1998. He was a member of Italy's World Cup team in 1998 and played two of their group games, against Chile and Cameroon. The match against Cameroon in Montpellier was his last game for Italy.
Milton Keynes Dons
On 2 July 2008, Di Matteo succeeded former England midfielder Paul Ince as manager of Milton Keynes Dons, after Ince took the manager's job at Premier League club Blackburn Rovers. A club statement by the Dons said that both Di Matteo and the club were "young, ambitious and hungry to succeed". On 26 November that year, Di Matteo took former Chelsea team-mate and Norwegian international striker Tore André Flo out of retirement by signing him on a contract until the end of the season. In his only season at stadium mk, Di Matteo led his team to third place in League One behind Leicester City and Peterborough United. They then lost a play-off semi-final on penalties to Scunthorpe United, with Tore André Flo missing the decisive penalty in sudden death.
West Bromwich Albion
Di Matteo was appointed manager of West Bromwich Albion on 30 June 2009, shortly after their relegation from the Premier League and the exit of former manager Tony Mowbray to Celtic. His selection was unanimous among the club's board. In his first season, the team finished second in the Championship, behind Newcastle United, and won automatic promotion to the Premier League. On the opening day of the 2010–11 Premier League season on 14 August 2010, Di Matteo paid a return visit to Stamford Bridge as head coach of West Bromwich Albion, but saw his side lose 6–0 to Chelsea. Better results in following matches led to the best start in a Premier League season by the club, and Di Matteo was also named Premier League Manager of the Month for September 2010. During December 2010 and January 2011, the club had a period of poor form, winning only one of ten matches. The majority of fans were still loyal to Di Matteo, but after a 0–3 defeat to Manchester City on 5 February 2011, he was relieved of his duties with immediate effect, and first-team coach Michael Appleton was appointed caretaker manager. West Bromwich Albion finished the season in eleventh position.
After an unsuccessful application to become manager of Birmingham City, Di Matteo was appointed assistant to André Villas-Boas, the new manager of Chelsea, on 29 June 2011. On 4 March 2012, following the dismissal of Villas-Boas, Di Matteo became caretaker manager of Chelsea until the end of the season. Shortly after his appointment, Di Matteo brought in former Chelsea teammate Eddie Newton to work as his assistant. Di Matteo started his stewardship of Chelsea in winning form, with victories over Birmingham City, in a fifth round FA Cup match; Stoke City in a Premier League fixture; and Napoli in the last 16 second leg match in the UEFA Champions League, winning 4–1 to overturn the deficit in the first leg which Villas-Boas' Chelsea had lost 3–1.
Di Matteo continued his form with Chelsea, by beating Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final 5–1 at Wembley and Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals. On 24 April 2012, Di Matteo led Chelsea to a 3–2 aggregate win over holders Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-final, winning 1–0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, and following this with a 2–2 draw in the second leg at the Camp Nou despite having captain John Terry sent off in the first half. On 5 May, Chelsea won 2–1 against Liverpool in the 2012 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, to win their first trophy in the 2011–12 season.
On 19 May 2012, Di Matteo guided Chelsea to victory in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, defeating Bayern Munich at their own Allianz Arena. The match had ended 1–1 after extra time with Chelsea coming out victorious in the penalty shootout. This was Chelsea's first Champions League title, and qualified them for the 2012–13 Champions League, in place of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. With this win Chelsea also became the first London club to win the Champions League. Chelsea's improbable successes have led to various commentators describing Di Matteo as 'the greatest caretaker manager of all time.'
On 13 June 2012, Chelsea announced that Di Matteo had been appointed manager and first-team coach on a permanent basis signing a two-year contract with the club. Chief executive Ron Gourlay said: 'Although he (Di Matteo) 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.' Gourlay added: 'We are already looking forward to the 2012–13 season which kicks off when Roberto, his staff and players return for pre-season.' Chelsea lost in the 2012 FA Community Shield to Manchester City 2–3. His team started the 2012–13 Premier League well, with victories against Wigan Athletic, Reading, and Newcastle United. They lost the 2012 UEFA Super Cup 4–1 to Atletico Madrid in Monaco on 1 September. The good early season form continued with four successive Premier League wins against Stoke City, Arsenal, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur.
In the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League, Chelsea drew 2–2 with Juventus and beat Danish club Nordsjaelland 4–0 away. Their form declined after this, however, losing to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League and to Manchester United at home in the Premier League. Chelsea's chances of advancing through their Champions League group were raised with a 3–2 home victory against leaders Shakhtar, but on 21 November 2012, Di Matteo was sacked following their 3–0 away loss to Juventus in the Champions League. Di Matteo had lasted just eight months as manager of Chelsea despite winning two major trophies, causing the decision to be controversial with many pundits and club fans. Later that day, Rafael Benítez was brought in as Chelsea's interim manager until the end of the season.
West Bromwich Albion
|Italy national team|
|1.||1997-04-30||Stadio San Paolo, Naples||Poland||
||1998 World Cup qualifier|
|2.||1998-01-28||Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania||Slovakia||
- As of 21 November 2012
|Milton Keynes Dons||2008||2009||52||27||11||14||51.92|
|West Bromwich Albion||2009||2011||83||40||19||24||48.19|
- "Roberto Di Matteo Profile". Goal.com. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Blue day as Di Matteo retires". telegraph.co.uk. 19 February 2002. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Di Matteo coy over Chelsea future". soccernet.espn.go.com. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Moore, Glenn (22 August 1996). "Di Matteo breaks Chelsea deadlock". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- "Why injured Di Matteo was Ranieri's team leader in Cup clash with Arsenal". dailymail.co.uk. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Manchester United 2–2 West Bromwich Albion". dailymail.co.uk. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "Di Matteo appointed MK Dons boss". dailymail.co.uk. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "Flo flop for MK Dons sends Scunthorpe to Wembley". guardian.co.uk. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "West Brom appoint Di Matteo as their new boss". soccernet.espn.go.com. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Roberto Di Matteo named Premier League Manager of the Month for September". goal.com. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Manchester City 3–0 West Bromwich Albion". news.bbc.co.uk. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "West Brom part company with manager Roberto Di Matteo". news.bbc.co.uk. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Birmingham appoint Chris Hughton as their new manager". bbc.co.uk. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Di Matteo returns as assistant". chelseafc.com. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Roberto di Matteo thinks of Andre Villas-Boas after Chelsea win". bbc.co.uk. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "I want to stay a Chelsea player, pleads Didier Drogba, after Champions League victory over Napoli". telegraph.co.uk. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Five Reasons Why Roberto Di Matteo Must Be Chelsea's Permanent Manager". thechelseachronicle.wordpress.com. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Shoot-out win ends Chelsea's long wait for glory". uefa.com. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "DI MATTEO SIGNS TWO-YEAR CONTRACT". chelseafc.com. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Roberto Di Matteo appointed permanent Chelsea manager". 13 June 2012.
- "Chelsea 2–3 Manchester City". bbc.co.uk. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Wigan Athletic 0–2 Chelsea". bbc.co.uk. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Chelsea 4–2 Reading". bbc.co.uk. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Chelsea 2–0 Newcastle United". bbc.co.uk. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Chelsea 1–4 Atletico Madrid". bbc.co.uk. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Chelsea 3–2 Shakhtar Donetsk". bbc.co.uk. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "STATEMENT ON ROBERTO DI MATTEO". chelseafc.com. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Juventus 3–0 Chelsea". chelseafc.com. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Roberto Di Matteo sacked by Chelsea after Juventus defeat". bbc.co.uk. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Roberto Di Matteo fired as Chelsea manager in 4 am meeting after 3–0 defeat against Juventus". telegraph.co.uk. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Chelsea sack Roberto Di Matteo". guardian.co.uk. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "SACKED! Di Matteo pays price for Chelsea's disastrous run of results after being in charge for just six months". dailymail.co.uk. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Rafael Benitez replaces Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea manager". bbc.co.uk. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Roberto Di Matteo: 'I'll try to cause an upset, but I know the stats are against us'". independent.co.uk. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Der FC Basel ist das Team des Jahre" (in Deutsch). srf.ch. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Roberto Di Matteo's International Appearances". National Football Teams. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Roberto Di Matteo's International Goals". National Football Teams. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
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|Awards and achievements|
|UEFA Champions League