November 22, 2012
  Follow @ Twitter

Di Matteo 'proud' despite Chelsea axe

Roberto di Matteo spoke Wednesday of his pride in having managed Chelsea after the club sacked him despite the Italian guiding the Londoners to their first Champions League title last season.

For all last term's success, which also saw the FA Cup come to Stamford Bridge, di Matteo was sacked Wednesday after a run of just two wins in eight games in all competitions culminating with Tuesday's 3-0 defeat by Juventus in Turin that left the club facing Champions League elimination at the group stage.

"It was an honour for me to be appointed manager of a club that I loved playing for and one that is so close to my heart," said di Matteo in a statement issued by the League Managers' Association late Wednesday that represented his first public response to his sacking.

"I am extremely proud of the successes and trophies that we were able to bring to the club in recent months.

"Lifting Chelsea's first Champions League trophy, in Munich, was the best achievement in club history and without doubt the highlight of my career to date, both as a player and manager," said the former Italy midfielder, who played in two FA Cup winning teams.

"It is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.

"I have a deep and unreserved passion for Chelsea Football Club and I would like to sincerely thank all of the staff, my players and of course the Chelsea fans, for their tremendous and unconditioned support in the intense time I have been the manager at the Bridge.

"I wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond."

Prior to di Matteo's statement, Chelsea announced former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez had been appointed as their "interim" first-team manager until the end of the season.

Di Matteo was the seventh manager sacked by Chelsea's Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich since he bought the club in 2003.

Jose Mourinho, now manager of Spanish giants Real Madrid -- who knocked English champions Manchester City out of the Champions League on Wednesday -- was fired by Abramovich in 2007 after failing to bring European club football's greatest prize to west London.

Mourinho, commenting on di Matteo's departaure after a 1-1 draw at Eastlands that sent Real through to the last 16 at City's expense, told Sky Sports: "That's football.

"I am never happy when a manager is sacked. This is a feeling that nobody likes to have. But everybody knows I like Chelsea and I always support any Chelsea manager. It's the same thing I will do with the next manager."

AFP

Wiggle

PREVIOUS STORY
Real dump City out of CL
NEXT STORY
Stalemates mean Reds, Spurs must wait

Post a Comment
Bookmark and Share

 


Posted Comments
No comments, but you can post the first comment!

 


 






SPORTS
EPL signings hit a record 835m
The English Premier League summer spending hit a record 835m as the transfer window closed today.
RUGBY
Nadroga beat Naitasiri, retain Farebrother
Nadroga scored three tries to defeat a much-improved Naitasiri outfit 25-20 in the first HFC Farebrother Sullivan trophy challenge at Lawaqa Park today.
FIJI NEWS
Rebels demand 'to be taken off terrorist list'
The United Nations have sent a hostage negotiator to Syria as the rebel group, Al Nusra, makes three demands one of which is to be taken off the U.N. terrorist list in exchange for the release of the detained 45 Fijian soldiers.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Chavez in Venezuela after cancer surgery
President Hugo Chavez surprised and in many cases delighted Venezuelans by returning home on Monday, albeit to an uncertain future, ending a more than two-month absence in Cuba for cancer treatment.
ENTERTAINMENT
Afghan street kid heads for the Oscars red carpet
An Afghan street kid is off to Hollywood and the red-carpet treatment at the Oscars -- a fairytale ending to a chance encounter that led to a starring role in a movie.
TECHNOLOGY
Apple hit by hackers
Apple on Tuesday said it was hit by hackers who wormed their way into the California company's system but evidently failed to steal any data.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS