Though most soccer fans have been focusing on Euro 2012 happenings in recent days, there has been some big news out of the Champions League. Today, Chelsea announced that they have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their full-time coach following the signing of a two-year contract.
Just three weeks ago, Di Matteo led Chelsea to their first UEFA Champions League title as an interim coach. He stepped into the position during the final 11 weeks of the season following the firing of Andre Villas-Boas.
“I’m obviously delighted to have been appointed as manager and first-team coach,” Di Matteo said following the announcement. “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 preseason.”
Prior to this week’s announcement, there was speculation that Chelsea would overlook Di Matteo, who turned 42 last week. It was rumored that the club was aiming to sign Pep Guardiola following his departure from Barcelona. But with today’s announcement, it seems that the Chelsea owners and top officials are certain Roberto is right for the job.
“Roberto put a smile back in the dressing room. The confidence was pretty evident towards the end of the season,” said former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins. “He’s a former Chelsea player so the fans can relate to him as player and manager. It’s not often you get a manager come in and within six months win the FA Cup and the Champions League.”