Roberto Di Matteo
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Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo S04 2015 (cropped).jpg
Di Matteo managing Schalke in 2015
Personal information
Full name Roberto Di Matteo[1]
Date of birth (1970-05-29) 29 May 1970 (age 49)[1]
Place of birth Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988-1991 Schaffhausen 50 (2)
1991-1992 Zürich 34 (6)
1992-1993 Aarau 33 (1)
1993-1996 Lazio 87 (7)
1996-2002 Chelsea 119 (26)
Total 323 (42)
National team
1994-1998 Italy 34 (2)
Teams managed
2008-2009 Milton Keynes Dons
2009-2011 West Bromwich Albion
2011-2012 Chelsea (assistant)
2012 Chelsea
2014-2015 Schalke 04
2016 Aston Villa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Roberto Di Matteo (Italian pronunciation: [ro'b?rto di mat't?:o]; born 29 May 1970) is an Italian former professional footballer and manager.

During his playing career as a midfielder, he played for Swiss clubs Schaffhausen, Zürich and Aarau before joining Lazio of Italy and Chelsea of England. Born in Switzerland to Italian parents, he was capped 34 times for Italy, scoring two goals, and played in UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He retired as a player in February 2002 at the age of 31 following injury problems.[3]

Di Matteo began his managerial career with Milton Keynes Dons, who he took to the League One playoffs in 2008-09 before leaving to return West Bromwich Albion to the Premier League. As caretaker manager of Chelsea, he steered the club to double title success, winning both the FA Cup and the club's first UEFA Champions League title in 2012,[4] but was dismissed later that year. He then went on to coach Schalke 04 until May 2015 when he departed after seven months in charge, and had four months as manager of Aston Villa in 2016.

Club career

Early career

Born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland[1] to Italian parents from Abruzzo, Di Matteo began his career with Swiss club Schaffhausen, before joining Aarau in 1991.[5] He won the Swiss Nationalliga A with Aarau in 1993.[6]


He signed for Lazio in the summer of 1993 on a free transfer.[7] Di Matteo became a regular starting-11 member of the Lazio side in midfield under managers Dino Zoff and later Zden?k Zeman, and he made his debut for the Italian national team during his three seasons with the Rome club.[8] Under Zeman, he was frequently deployed in the central midfield role, in which he was required to aid the team defensively, thanks to his formation as a sweeper during his youth.[8] He was also important in helping his team offensively and creatively, functioning as a deep-lying playmaker for Lazio under Zeman, and helping to set the tempo of his team's play through his passing range, technique, control, and vision.[] During his time at the club, he developed into one of the top two-way central midfielders in Italy.[9]


Di Matteo scored the winner against Middlesbrough on his home debut for Chelsea.[10] His passing ability and accurate long-distance shooting saw him become one of the driving forces of Chelsea's resurgence in the late 1990s.[] He contributed nine goals in his first season, including long-range efforts against both Tottenham Hotspur and Wimbledon.[] He helped the club finish sixth place in the league, their highest placing since 1989-90, and reach the 1997 FA Cup Final at Wembley.[] Within 42 seconds of the kick-off of the final against Middlesbrough, Di Matteo scored the opening goal from 30 yards and Chelsea won 2-0.[11] Di Matteo's goal was the fastest in a Wembley FA Cup final until the record was broken by Louis Saha for Everton in 2009.[]

The following season Di Matteo again proved his worth to the team, contributing ten goals and numerous assists, as Chelsea went on to claim the Football League Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup, their first European honour since 1971.[] In the League Cup final, again against Middlesbrough, Di Matteo scored the second goal in a 2-0 win.[] Di Matteo played in midfield next to Gustavo Poyet, Dennis Wise and Dan Petrescu in the 1998-99 season as Chelsea finished third.[] During the 1999-2000 season Di Matteo was sidelined by injury but returned late in the season to score a handful of crucial goals, including his third Cup-winning goal at Wembley, once again in the FA Cup.[] In a dour match, Di Matteo capitalised on an error by Aston Villa goalkeeper David James to score the winner in the 72nd minute, handing Chelsea their fourth major trophy in three years.[12][13] This led Di Matteo to comment on the old Wembley Stadium saying "It's a shame they're tearing the old place down it has been a very lucky ground for me".[14]

Early into the 2000-01 season, Di Matteo sustained a triple leg fracture in a UEFA Cup tie against Swiss side St. Gallen and did not play for the next eighteen months.[15][16] He gave up on hopes of returning from this injury in February 2002 and retired at the age of 31.[15][16] In his six years at Chelsea, Di Matteo made 175 appearances and scored 26 goals.[17]

International career

Di Matteo made his Italy debut under Arrigo Sacchi on 16 November 1994 in the Stadio La Favorita in Palermo. He came on as a 55th-minute substitute for Demetrio Albertini as Italy lost 2-1 to Croatia in qualification for UEFA Euro 1996. He made his first start in his second cap, a friendly 3-1 victory over Turkey on 21 December 1994 in the Stadio Adriatico in Pescara. Di Matteo played two of Italy's group matches in UEFA Euro 1996, against Russia and Germany. His first goal was scored on his 23rd cap, in qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, on 30 April 1997 in a 3-0 win against Poland in Naples. Di Matteo only scored one more goal for Italy, in a friendly win over Slovakia on 28 January 1998. He was a member of Italy's FIFA World Cup team in 1998 and played two of their group games, against Chile and Cameroon. The match against Cameroon in Montpellier was his last game for Italy; in total he made 34 caps for Italy between 1994 and 1998, scoring 2 goals.[18][19]

Managerial career

Milton Keynes Dons

On 2 July 2008, Di Matteo succeeded former England midfielder Paul Ince as manager of Milton Keynes Dons on a one-year contract, after Ince took the manager's job at Premier League club Blackburn Rovers.[20] A club statement by the Dons said that both Di Matteo and the club were "young, ambitious and hungry to succeed".[21] On 26 November that year, Di Matteo took former Chelsea teammate and Norwegian international striker Tore André Flo out of retirement by signing him on a contract until the end of the season.[22] In his only season at stadium mk, Di Matteo led his team to third place in League One behind Leicester City and Peterborough United.[17][23] They then lost a play-off semi-final on penalties to Scunthorpe United, with Flo missing the decisive penalty in sudden death.[24]

West Bromwich Albion

Di Matteo was appointed manager of West Bromwich Albion on 30 June 2009, shortly after their relegation from the Premier League and the exit of former manager Tony Mowbray to Celtic. His selection was unanimous among the club's board.[25] In his first season, the team finished second in the Championship, behind Newcastle United, and won automatic promotion to the Premier League on 10 April with three games remaining after defeating Doncaster Rovers 3–2.[26]



Di Matteo was appointed assistant to André Villas-Boas, the new manager of Chelsea, on 29 June 2011.[15][27] On 4 March 2012, following the dismissal of Villas-Boas, Di Matteo became caretaker manager of Chelsea until the end of the season.[28] Shortly after his appointment, Di Matteo brought in former Chelsea teammate Eddie Newton to work as his assistant.[29] Di Matteo started his stewardship of Chelsea in winning form, with victories over Birmingham City, in a fifth round FA Cup match; Stoke City in a Premier League fixture; and Napoli in the last 16 second leg match in the UEFA Champions League, winning 4-1 to overturn the deficit in the first leg which Villas-Boas' Chelsea had lost 3-1.[30]

Di Matteo continued his form with Chelsea, by beating Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final 5-1 at Wembley and Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals.[31] On 24 April 2012, Di Matteo led Chelsea to a 3-2 aggregate win over holders Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-final, winning 1-0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, and following this with a 2-2 draw in the second leg at the Camp Nou despite having captain John Terry sent off in the first half.[32] On 5 May, Chelsea won 2-1 against Liverpool in the 2012 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, to win their first trophy in the 2011-12 season.[33]

On 19 May 2012, Di Matteo guided Chelsea to victory in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, defeating Bayern Munich at their own Allianz Arena. The match had ended 1-1 after extra time with Chelsea coming out victorious in the penalty shootout.[34] This was Chelsea's first Champions League title, and qualified them for the 2012-13 Champions League, in place of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.[35] With this win Chelsea also became the first London club to win the Champions League.[36]


Di Matteo as a coach of Chelsea in 2012

On 13 June 2012, Chelsea announced that Di Matteo had been appointed manager and first-team coach on a permanent basis signing a two-year contract with the club.[37] Chief executive Ron Gourlay said: 'Although he (Di Matteo) 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.' Gourlay added: 'We are already looking forward to the 2012-13 season which kicks off when Roberto, his staff and players return for pre-season.'[38] Chelsea lost in the 2012 FA Community Shield to Manchester City 2-3.[39] His team started the 2012-13 Premier League well, with victories against Wigan Athletic,[40]Reading,[41] and Newcastle United.[42] They lost the 2012 UEFA Super Cup 4-1 to Atlético Madrid in Monaco on 1 September.[43] The good early season form continued with four successive Premier League wins against Stoke City, Arsenal, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur.

In the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League, Chelsea drew 2-2 with Juventus and beat Danish club Nordsjælland 4-0 away.[44] Their form declined after this, however, losing to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League and to Manchester United at home in the Premier League.[45] Chelsea's chances of advancing through their Champions League group were raised with a 3-2 home victory against leaders Shakhtar,[46] but on 21 November 2012, Di Matteo was sacked following their 3-0 away loss to Juventus in the Champions League, which all but eliminated them from the competition.[47] Di Matteo had lasted just eight months as manager of Chelsea despite winning two major trophies, causing the decision to be controversial with many pundits and club fans.[47][48][49][50][51] Later that day, Rafael Benítez was brought in as Chelsea's interim manager until the end of the season.[52]

In November 2013, it was reported that Di Matteo was still being paid £130,000-a-week by Chelsea because the two parties had never agreed on a pay-off settlement and that he would continue to be paid in full until June 2014 unless he took another job before then.[53]

Schalke 04

On 7 October 2014, Di Matteo was hired as the successor to Jens Keller at Schalke 04.[54] At that point, Schalke sat 11th in the Bundesliga and had already been eliminated from the DFB-Pokal.[55] Di Matteo was the third Italian head coach, after Giovanni Trapattoni and Nevio Scala, in Bundesliga history.[56]

He won his first match 2-0 against Hertha Berlin on 18 October, with goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Julian Draxler.[57] Schalke advanced from their Champions League group, with Max Meyer scoring the only goal in their final group match away to NK Maribor on 10 December.[58] On 10 March 2015, Schalke defeated Real Madrid 4-3 in Madrid.[59][60] However, Schalke lost 2-0 in the first leg[59] on 18 February and 5-4 on aggregate.[60] He resigned on 26 May 2015 after the team qualified for the UEFA Europa League by finishing sixth, following a run of two wins in ten matches which cost them a place in the Champions League.[61]

Aston Villa

On 2 June 2016, Di Matteo was appointed the manager of newly relegated Championship club Aston Villa, working under the new chairman Tony Xia. Di Matteo's former Chelsea teammate Steve Clarke was appointed as his assistant on the same day.[62] On 3 October 2016, Di Matteo was sacked as manager[63] after a string of poor results culminating in a 2-0 defeat at Preston North End.

Personal life

Di Matteo is married to Zoe, and they have three children.[64]

Career statistics



Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
1994 2 0
1995 8 0
1996 8 0
1997 11 1
1998 5 1
Total 34 2

International goals


# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 30 April 1997 Stadio San Paolo, Naples  Poland
1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier
2. 28 January 1998 Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania  Slovakia

Managerial statistics

As of 3 October 2016
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
Milton Keynes Dons 2 July 2008 30 June 2009 52 27 11 14 051.9 [20][66]
West Bromwich Albion 30 June 2009 6 February 2011 83 40 19 24 048.2 [66]
Chelsea 4 March 2012 21 November 2012 42 24 9 9 057.1 [66]
Schalke 04 7 October 2014 26 May 2015 33 14 7 12 042.4 [61][67]
Aston Villa 2 June 2016 3 October 2016 12 1 7 4 008.3 [66]
Total 222 106 53 63 047.7 --






West Bromwich Albion[69]



See also


  1. ^ a b c "Roberto Di Matteo". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Roberto Di Matteo Profile". Perform Media. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "Blue day as Di Matteo retires". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. 19 February 2002. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Di Matteo coy over Chelsea future". ESPN FC. ESPN Internet Ventures. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ De Bartolo, Augusto (18 May 2012). "Di Matteo alle origini: da Paglieta alla finale di Champions". Sky Italia (in Italian). Sky. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ Schifferle, Michael (14 May 2012). "Di Matteo's journey shaped by Swiss roots". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Hancock, Lewis (26 August 2016). "Preview: Aston Villa home". Bristol City F.C. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ a b Coldagelli, Luigi (22 December 1993). "Di Matteo, favola azzurra. " mi dissero: fatti svizzero cosi' andrai ai Mondiali "". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Milan: RCS MediaGroup. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ "Di Matteo, elogio a Zeman". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Milan: RCS MediaGroup. 9 September 1997. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ Moore, Glenn (21 August 1996). "Di Matteo breaks Chelsea deadlock". The Independent. London: Independent Print. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "Chelsea joy as Boro finish on empty". Bass Brewery. 17 May 1997. Archived from the original on 13 June 1997. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Chelsea claim FA Cup glory". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 May 2000. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Twomey, Liam (4 April 2016). "Chelsea's history of Italian managers a mixed bag with Conte to arrive". ESPN FC. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ Borrows, Bill; Hammond, Derek (2 August 2012). The talkSPORT Book of Premier League Legends. London: Simon & Schuster. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-84983-941-9.
  15. ^ a b c "Roberto di Matteo named as new Chelsea assistant coach". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Roberto Di Matteo". Union of European Football Associations. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "ROBERTO DI MATTEO". League Managers Association. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ "Roberto Di Matteo". Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "Nazionale in cifre: Di Matteo, Roberto". (in Italian). Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Di Matteo appointed MK Dons boss". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "Di Matteo appointed MK Dons boss". 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ "Flo rejoins Di Matteo at MK Dons". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ "League One Table 2008/2009 Season". Sky Sports. Sky. Retrieved 2016.
  24. ^ Rae, Richard (16 May 2009). "Flo flop for MK Dons sends Scunthorpe to Wembley". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "West Brom appoint Di Matteo as their new boss". ESPN FC. ESPN Internet Ventures. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^ Vesty, Marc (10 April 2010). "Doncaster 2-3 West Brom". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2014.
  27. ^ "Di Matteo returns as assistant". Chelsea F.C. 29 June 2011. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  28. ^ "Roberto di Matteo thinks of Andre Villas-Boas after Chelsea win". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 2016.
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  30. ^ "I want to stay a Chelsea player, pleads Didier Drogba, after Champions League victory over Napoli". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  31. ^ "Match facts: Chelsea v Barcelona". Union of European Football Associations. 15 April 2012. Retrieved 2016.
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  33. ^ "Five Reasons Why Roberto Di Matteo Must Be Chelsea's Permanent Manager". 22 May 2012. Retrieved 2013.
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  35. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (20 May 2012). "Reality bites for Tottenham as finishing fourth in the Premier League proves futile". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2016.
  36. ^ Davies, Lizzy (20 May 2012). "Chelsea return to heroes' welcome at Stamford Bridge". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2016.
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  39. ^ Smith, Ben (12 August 2013). "Chelsea 2-3 Manchester City". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
  40. ^ Scrivener, Peter (19 August 2012). "Wigan Athletic 0-2 Chelsea". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
  41. ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (22 August 2012). "Chelsea 4-2 Reading". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
  42. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (26 August 2012). "Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
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  44. ^ "Draw specialists Juventus need Nordsjælland boost". Union of European Football Associations. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  45. ^ "Manchester United defender backs red card for Torres". Archant. 28 October 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  46. ^ McNulty, Phil (7 November 2012). "Chelsea 3-2 Shakhtar Donetsk". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
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  49. ^ Smith, Ben (20 November 2012). "Juventus 3-0 Chelsea". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
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  52. ^ "Rafael Benitez replaces Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea manager". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  53. ^ "Chelsea 'still paying ex-manager Roberto Di Matteo £130,000-a-week'". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 2014.
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  58. ^ Sever, Grega (11 December 2014). "Di Matteo joyful after Schalke's success". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 2014.
  59. ^ a b Selldorf, Philipp (10 March 2015). "Vier Treffer reichen Schalke nicht". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Munich: Südwestdeutsche Medien Holding. Retrieved 2015.
  60. ^ a b "Huntelaars Hammer, aber kein Wunder". Kicker (in German). Nuremberg: Olympia-Verlag GmbH. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  61. ^ a b "Roberto Di Matteo resigns as Schalke manager". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  62. ^ Murphy, Pat (2 June 2016). "Roberto di Matteo named Aston Villa manager - Steve Clarke as assistant". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
  63. ^ "Club statement: Roberto Di Matteo". Aston Villa F.C. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  64. ^ "Roberto Di Matteo: 'I'll try to cause an upset, but I know the stats are against us'". The Independent. London: Independent Print. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 2019.
  65. ^ a b "Roberto Di Matteo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 2012.
  66. ^ a b c d "Managers: Roberto Di Matteo". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 2017.
  67. ^ "FC Schalke 04 - Trainerhistorie". Kicker (in German). Nuremberg: Olympia-Verlag GmbH. Retrieved 2016.
  68. ^ a b "Roberto Di Matteo". Retrieved 2015.
  69. ^ "West Brom part company with manager Roberto Di Matteo". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  70. ^ "Roberto Di Matteo: Schalke appoint former Chelsea boss". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  71. ^ "Manager profile: Roberto Di Matteo". Premier League. Retrieved 2018.
  72. ^ "Der FC Basel ist das Team des Jahre". Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (in German). Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 2013.

External links

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