Chelsea keep Di Matteo on as manager after successful two-month caretaker spell



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Di Matteo was assistant manager to Villas-Boas last season before taking over the reigns as boss when he was sacked


Chelsea have named interim boss Roberto Di Matteo as their permanent manager as the Italian signs a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Di Matteo was made caretaker coach following the sacking of the Portuguese rookie Andre Villas-Boas in March after a poor run of form leading the club to collect two trophies in the Champions League and FA Cup. He 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 looking forward to the squad's return for pre-season."

42-year old former MK Dons and West Brom manager Di Matteo lost just three of his 21 matches in charge at the end of the 2011-12 season while many of the club's senior players have stated their opinions broadly for his stay at the club to be on a more long-term basis after guiding the Blues to their first Champions League final success against Bayern Munich as well as another FA Cup final victory over Liverpool at Wembley.

He joined the club from Serie A outfit Lazio in 1996 during his playing days where he scored 26 goals in 175 Chelsea appearances before ending his career at the age of 31- retiring because of a troublesome injury. The midfielder's first season at Stamford Bridge had ended with him scoring in the first minute of the FA Cup final against Middlesbrough as Chelsea won their first major trophy for 26 years. Di Matteo also went on to score in the League Cup final win over Middlesbrough in 1998 and in the 2000 FA Cup final against Aston Villa.

Di Matteo's first managerial post came in July 2008 when he was asked to take over at League One side MK Dons while the following summer, he took over at Championship side West Bromwich Albion where he earned promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking to the Premier League before a run of 13 defeats in 18 games during the 2010-11 season which resulted in his sacking from the Hawthorns in February of last year.

A Chelsea statement published on the club's official website read: "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 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. 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 on to further success."


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