The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO -

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.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

WAKE-UP CALL: Di Mat­teo now has the huge task of re­viv­ing the fallen gi­ants of Villa

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