Di Matteo handed Chelsea job
17:42, 13 Jun 2012
Chelsea have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their full-time coach on a two-year contract.
The Blues have moved to confirm the Italian as their permanent boss just three weeks after he led them to their first Champions League title while in interim charge.
Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas for the final 11 weeks of the season and inspired a stunning rejuvenation of a side that had been deemed too old, as they won the FA Cup before their famous penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
Di Matteo, who turned 42 last month, was ecstatic to take on the role permanently.
"I'm obviously delighted to have been appointed as manager and first-team coach," Di Matteo said.
"We all achieved incredible success last season that made history for this great club.
"Our aim is to continue building on that and I'm already planning and looking forward to the squad's return for pre-season."
Despite Di Matteo's success there was speculation Chelsea would look elsewhere for a full-time boss, with Pep Guardiola apparently atop their wish-list following his departure from Barcelona.
Owner Roman Abramovich was said to be keen to bring in Guardiola despite the Spaniard showing little interest in revoking his decision to take a year's sabbatical from the game.
Rumours Guardiola could be swayed grew stronger as the weeks passed since Chelsea's Munich triumph, but in confirming Di Matteo's appointment today chief executive Ron Gourlay labelled the former Blues midfielder the "right man to lead Chelsea onto further success".
Gourlay also revealed Di Matteo had been involved in the decision to make recent signings with the club having already made the big-money capture of Eden Hazard following the end of last season.
"Roberto's quality was clear for all to see when he galvanised the squad last season and helped the club make history, and the owner and board are very pleased he will be continuing his good work," he said.
"We all believed he was a young coach with much to offer when we first asked him to take charge of team affairs in March and 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.
"We will be working closely with Roberto in the weeks ahead, some exciting signings have already been made and Roberto has had input into those.
"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.
"We are already looking forward to the 2012-13 season which kicks off when Roberto, his staff and players return for pre-season."