Be at the right time, at the time indicated on the site you touch. If anyone knows of being opportune it is Roberto Di Matteo. The Italian went from being anonymous to the general public to winning the FA Cup and the Champions League with Chelsea in the same season, thus making Abramovich's great dream come true. The Russian, surely, never imagined that of Schaffhausen as the coach who would take him there. How was your way to Munich?
Roberto Di Matteo was born in 1970 in Schaffhausen, a city in northern Switzerland that gives its canton its name. Although born in the Swiss country, his parents were Italian, which allowed him to be international with the transalpine. After a successful start in Switzerland (he was champion with Aarau), in '93, Lazio took him to Serie A and under Dino Zoff he looked good enough to be international. A midfielder back and forth and with a good shot, he was also under Zeman's command in Rome.
His best level, yes, came in London. Chelsea signed him in exchange for 5.5 million euros of the time and there he completed his record with a Recopa (97/98), a European Super Cup (98/99), two FA Cups (1997 and 2000), a League Cup (1998) and a Community Shield (2000). 159 games with 16 blue on the back and 22 goals, several of them burned into blue memory and quite similar: tres cannon shots from outside the area to give him the FA Cup against Middlesbrough and two derbies against Arsenal and Tottenham. Another goal of his to Boro served to win the League Cup and also scored the winning goal in the 2000 FA Cup final against Aston Villa. A legend that would only increase on the bench after injuries forced him to retire in 2002 when he was just 31 years old.
Arrive and kiss the Champions
It was March 2012 and Roberto Di Matteo, who was second to Andre Villas-Boas, took over Chelsea who was fifth but had just lost to West Bromwich. His former team, previously training the MKDons, opened the doors of the elite.
A month later, he had only lost one game (against City 2-1) and had just put the blue team in the semifinals of the Champions League and the FA Cup. In mid-April, the joy was almost complete with a thrashing of Tottenham 1-5 to get into the final of the FA Cup and a victory against Barcelona at home. April 24th, Di Matteo took a draw at the Camp Nou (that Torres ride) that gave him an international flight to the Champions League final.
On May 5, he beat Liverpool at Wembley (2-1, Ramires and Drogba) and before the final left the team qualified for Europe. Just in case. Now, I expected Munich and Bayern. That night, Drogba was the great protagonist. The Ivorian equalized in 88 the goal that Müller had scored five minutes earlier but was about to throw everything overboard when he shot Ribéry inside the area in 93. Cech penalized Robben, not always lucky in the finals. The Czech forced the overtime and became enormous in the end stopping two separate pitches to Olic and Schweinsteiger. Drogba sentenced scoring the final 4-5. In 21 games as head coach and on an interim basis, Roberto Di Matteo was the European champion.
The day after
If it was a Hollywood movie it would end there and the ending would be perfect but the story continues. Chelsea had no choice but to offer him a contract but the Di Matteo effect did not last. The Italian lost in both Super Cups (to City 2-3 and Atlético 1-4) in the summer and a defeat in Turin in the group stage of the Champions League that left him on the brink of elimination ended his first great contract in the elite 21 games later. Curiously, the same figure that he needed to win the Champions League. Rafa Benítez appeared to the rescue and ended up giving a European title plus Chelsea, the Europa League.
In 2014, Schalke trusted him but did not last long (from October to May 2015) and they invited him to leave by not entering the Champions League. After a brief hiatus, in 2016, his adventure in Villa Park was even shorter. Four months and 12 games later (one win, four losses and seven draws) he put the brakes on his career.
“I stopped to stay home with my family after spending many years away. There have been contacts (with other teams) but I wanted to stop. Now I'm ready to start again. “ That was the Italian's explanation at the Gazzetta dello Sport on June 17, the Italian. Roberto, the European champion, has been unemployed since he left Birmingham and now he answers calls in search of new opportunities. As he explained in this Italian newspaper, the United States attracts him. Will he be able to win in American football too? Everything will be given the opportunity. Have them ask Abramovich.