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Roberto Di Matteo


James

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Roberto Di Matteo

Di Matteo made an impressive start to his Chelsea career, scoring the winner against Middlesbroughon his home debut. His passing ability and accurate long-distanceshooting saw him become one of the driving forces of Chelsea'sresurgence in the late 1990s. He contributed nine goals in his firstseason, including long-range efforts against both Tottenham andWimbledon. He helped the club finish 6th in the league, their highestplacing since 1989-90, and reach the FA Cup finalat Wembley. Within 43 seconds of the kick-off, Di Matteo scored from 30yards, the fastest ever goal in a Wembley cup final, to set Chelsea ontheir way to a 2-0 win.

The following season he again proved his worth to the team, chippingin with ten goals and numerous assists, as Chelsea went on to claim theLeague Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup,their first European honour since 1971. In the League Cup final, againagainst Middlesbrough, Di Matteo scored the 2nd goal in a 2-0 win.Season 1998-99 turned out to be a special season for Chelsea as they went on an unbeaten run of over 20 games to finish third in the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League. Di Matteo played a pivotal role in midfield next to Gustavo Poyet, Dennis Wise and Dan Petrescu and scored some memorable goals, among them a strike against Coventry in the dying seconds of the game.

During the 1999-00season he was hampered by injury but returned late in the season toscore a handful of crucial goals, including his third Cup-winning goalat Wembley, once again in the FA Cup. In a dour match, Di Matteocapitalised on an error by Aston Villa goalkeeper David Jamesto score the winner in the 71st minute, handing Chelsea their fourthmajor trophy in three years. This lead Di Matteo to comment on the oldWembley 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 FC St. Gallenand spent the next eighteen months on the sidelines. He eventually gaveup on his comeback and retired in February 2002 at the age of 31.

In his six years at Chelsea, he made 175 appearances and scored 26 goals.

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Shame he got injured when he did, was a class player in his time.

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  • 4 months later...

obviously remembered for THAT fa cup final goal, but was a great player for us and scored some brilliant goals (yids away, arse at home in the worthington/coca cola cup semi final)

shame his Chelsea career was ending in the way it did

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DI Matteo is the reason I'm a Chelsea supporter. I'd never been a big fan of football, but one late night I saw the replay of the 1997 FA Cup final from earlier that day and when he scored that goal... I was hooked.

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  • 1 year later...

MK Dons boss Roberto Di Matteo is set to be confirmed as West Bromwich Albion's new manager within the next 48 hours, BBC Sport understands.

The Albion board approached Di Matteo late on Monday with a view to making him Tony Mowbray's successor.

Preston manager Alan Irvine was also on a shortlist of two but rejected the chance to move, after being given permission to speak to West Brom.

Di Matteo took the Dons to the League One play-offs in his first season.

The Italian signed a contract extension with MK Dons in December which was to tie him to the League One club until June 2011.

The Baggies have been without a manager since Mowbray left the Championship club for Scottish Premier League giants Celtic on 17 June.

well done di matteo
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Here is a good article on RDM about returning to coaching. I agree w/ this statement here:

"People probably didn't like Chelsea winning the European Cup but I don't see any other team that has gone to Camp Nou and played expansive football. It's a bit of a myth the media have created. If you look at the numbers, my teams have always been free-scoring teams."

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