The staggering decline of Roberto Di Matteo

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 19 May 2017, 11:10

Five years ago today (19th May) Roberto Di Matteo gleefully stood at the summit of the European managerial ladder after hoisting the Champions League trophy, as he completed a miraculous double haul of trophies (FA Cup) with Chelsea after a quite stunning three months as interim manager.

The come-from-behind final victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Area (Bayern's own patch) was the stuff of dreams for Chelsea, who dramatically equalised in the 88th minute - after going behind just five minutes earlier - before saving a penalty in extra-time, and then themsevles going on to win on penalites.

An England team beating a German team on penalties. You couldn't make it up.

Di Matteo won a plethora of plaudits from left, right, and centre after transforming Chelsea's season and capturing a famous cup double, and was subsequently handed a two-year deal with the Blues.

However, the jubilant highs of Wembley and Munich were, just three months into the following season, replaced by the crushing reality of the sack, as his rollercoaster eight month tenure at Stamford Bridge came to an abrupt end.

It took Di Matteo two years to return to management as he ventured off to Germany with Schalke. However, just 33 games later he found himself back in the Job Centre after resigning at the end of the 2014/15 season after failing to qualify for the Champions League.

Again Di Matteo took some time out of the dugout, before landing the Aston Villa job a year later in June 2016. But, this move proved to be disastrous as he was hurled out of the exit door four months later after registering only one win from a dozen games.

It's been quite the fall from grace for the 46-year-old, and it's difficult to predict where he's going to crop up next after the Villa debacle, but on the plus side no Chelsea fan will ever forget his astonishing accomplishment on that historic night five years ago.

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Garry Monk
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