Bloomberg News

Di Matteo Named Chelsea Manager After Champions League Victory

June 13, 2012

Roberto Di Matteo was named permanent manager of Chelsea after leading the club to its first Champions League soccer title.

Di Matteo, 42, signed a two-year contract, Chelsea said in a statement on its website. He also guided the Blues to the F.A. Cup title after taking over as interim manager in March.

“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,” Chelsea Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said.

Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas, who was fired March 4. Although the Blues finished sixth in the Premier League, they beat Liverpool for their fourth F.A. Cup in six seasons and captured the Champions League title that owner Roman Abramovich coveted.

Chelsea upset defending champion Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals, winning the first leg 1-0 at home with its only shot on target and drawing 2-2 in Spain with 10 men. The Blues then beat Bayern Munich on its home field in a penalty shootout in the final to become the first London team to win Europe’s elite competition.

“We all achieved incredible success last season that made history for this great club,” Di Matteo said. “Our aim is to continue building on that and I’m already planning and looking forward to the squad’s return for pre-season.”

Di Matteo is a former Chelsea midfielder who helped the club win the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and League Cup in 1998 and the F.A. Cup in 1997 and 2000. He also managed MK Dons and West Brom, leading the latter to Premier League promotion in 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.


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