Sunday, May 20, 2012

Di Matteo - Future can wait

Italian praises 'passion and pride' of Chelsea heroes



Roberto Di Matteo continued to dodge questions about his future despite performing wonders in leading Chelsea to their first UEFA Champions League trophy.
Having only succeeded the sacked Andre Villas-Boas in March on an interim basis, the Italian has turned the Stamford Bridge club away from internal crisis to glory.
With the FA Cup already won, Di Matteo on Saturday night steered Chelsea to a stunning European Cup final penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich at the German club's own Allianz Arena.
The Champions League has long been the dream of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who was in Bavaria to watch the stunning success, and the Russian must now decide what he wants to do regarding the club's management.

Di Matteo could not have done more as a job application, but the sight of Fabio Capello on the pitch with Chelsea's players before kick-off against Bayern added to speculation the former England boss could be bound for Stamford Bridge.


However, current Chelsea boss Di Matteo remains diplomatic and told Sky Sports after defeating Bayern when asked if he wanted the job: "I am going to have a big party tonight with the trophy with the big ears."
The former West Brom boss instead preferred to praise the attitude of his players after an unbelievable backs-to-the-wall performance against Bayern.
Chelsea had been dominated and Bayern wasted a host of chances before Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 83rd minute.
Didier Drogba then stunned the German club with an 88th minute equaliser to set the scene for Bayern's former Chelsea winger, Arjen Robben, to have a penalty saved in extra-time by Petr Cech.
Chelsea's goalkeeper was again a hero in the penalty shoot-out as he did enough to bring about failures from the spot by Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ivica Olic before Drogba made history with the winning kick.
Considering Chelsea were also without the suspended John Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles, while Gary Cahill and David Luiz played their respective first games in a month after injury, it was a heroic effort.
And Di Matteo said: "It was very stressful. It is an amazing achievement by the players.
"The preparation for this match wasn't ideal, with the suspensions and the injuries.
"We went for 120 minutes with players who haven't played for three weeks, four weeks. It is incredible the passion and pride these boys have to bring the trophy home."

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