ROBERTO DI MATTEO FACTFILE
Born: Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 1970 (age 46) Playing career: A midfielder, Di Matteo startedat Swiss second-tier side Schaffhausen, playing 50 games before following manager Rolf Fringer to FC Zurich and then Aarau. In 1992-93, he won Swiss player of the year as Aarau clinched the Super League title and a year later joined Serie A Lazio on a free transfer. Di Matteo spent three seasons in Italy, scoring seven goals in 87 matches and earning the first of 34 caps for Italy. In 1996, he made a £4.9m switch to Chelsea and there enjoyed the most successful spell of his career, winning two FA Cups, a League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup. In total, Di Matteo played 175 times for the Blues before a broken leg forced his retirement in 2002, aged just 32. Managerial career: After several years out of football, Di Matteo resurfaced as manager of MK Dons in 2008 and led them to third in League One, eventually losing in the play-off semis to Scunthorpe. A move to West Brom in 2009 allowed Di Matteo to guide the Baggies to second in the Championship and promotion to the top flight. He then won the 2010-11 season’s first manager of the month award, only to be sacked in February 2011 following a bad run of results. Di Matteo returned to coaching as assistant to Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea for the 2011-12 season. When the Portuguese was sacked in March 2012, Di Matteo took caretaker charge and led the Blues to the FA Cup and their first-ever Champions League success. Appointed on a permanent basis in June 2012, he was controversially sacked just four months later. After spending the 2014-15 season leading Schalke to fifth in the Bundesliga, Di Matteo resigned before being named manager of Aston Villa in June this year.
WAKE-UP CALL: Di Matteo now has the huge task of reviving the fallen giants of Villa