A loyal servant of the Chelsea FC football team both as a player and a manager, Di Matteo spent around eight years at Stamford Bridge, winning a number of titles in both roles. As the scorer of the fastest ever FA Cup goal in 1997 at the time, we take a look at some of the top quotes on Roberto Di Matteo.
The honours with Chelsea included two FA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and one League Cup as a player, and one Champions League and FA Cup double as a manager.
Born in Switzerland, the Italian competed in both the aforementioned countries early in his career before signing up with English Premier League team Chelsea in 1996, and scoring on his home debut. In his first FA Cup final, he struck after just 42 seconds with a 30-yard effort as The Blues won 2-0.
He went on to score in two other Cup final victories for the club, before he was forced to give up the game at the age of just 31 having suffered a serious leg fracture around 18 months previously.
Over six years later, he took up football management and coached both MK Dons and West Bromwich Albion before joining up with Chelsea again in 2011 as an assistant manager. He guided the team to two big major titles in the space of a month in May 2012.
His appearances for Italy totalled just 34 in a five year spell, but he did appear in two major tournaments.
Roberto Di Matteo
“No striker scores so many important goals in finals. As for the manager, Roberto deserves everything. He’s turned the club around.”
Frank Lampard (Chelsea player)
“He did something extraordinary last season and he is showing it again this year…..We’re pleased when an Italian coach does so well in England. We are pleased with what he has done and what he is doing.”
Angelo Alessio (Juventus assistant manager)
“It’s simple, not over-complicated…..I think it’s brought out a lot in him, being manager…..I think he’s revelling in making decisions.”
“We have had so many managers…..But the most remembered is Roberto for winning the Champions League.”
Didier Drogba (former Chelsea player)
“…..he was on Chelsea bench when Chelsea won the Champions League. He is a historic name in this club.”
Jose Mourinho (Chelsea manager)
“Like the club itself, Roberto is young, ambitious and hungry to succeed…..We are enormously excited about the team moving forward under his leadership.”
MK Dons (club statement)
“Not only was he an outstanding player for Chelsea but he is a genuine nice guy.”
Colin Hutchinson (Chelsea managing director)
“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.”
Ron Gourlay (Chelsea chief executive)
“Even at the age of just 20, he was talking about systems and tactics…..And with his technique and outstanding football brain, he was already a star in the making. He quickly became my right-hand man on the pitch.”
Rolf Fringer (former FC Schaffhausen coach)
“As a kid, Robi was the best player in my team by some distance…..”
Domenico Sinardo (Schaffhausen youth coach)
“…..Di Matteo was the player who made us tick.”
Petar Aleksandrov (former FC Aarau team-mate)
“Robi was a player who, even then, thought a lot about tactics…..He was self-taught, he’s continued to learn a lot and has always been a defensive strategist.”
Joachim Low (FC Schaffhausen)
“John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres all follow him – that type of backing from the players is the most important thing for a manager.”
“To get guys like that to rally behind you, you need expertise and knowledge. But you also need a humanitarian quality. And Robi is an outstanding human being, who also has an easy-going nature in exactly the right measure.”
“If he stays relaxed, he can go a long way…..”
Ryszard Komornicki (FC Aarau captain)
“Anyone who knows Roberto well will know he is an intelligent, committed and talented football man who has proved himself as both a player and a manager. Without a doubt he has the ability to turn around recent results…..”
Richard Bevan (LMA chief executive)
“Roberto has proven himself to be a brilliant motivator, an excellent decision-maker, a knowledgeable tactician…..”
Pete Winkelman (MK Dons chairman)