Di Matteo explains change of heart

Chelsea manager Roberto Di MatteoChelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo once declared that he did not intend to move into football management after his retirement.

The Italian was forced to retire early after breaking his leg and he moved away from football to work in business and finance. However, his football “addiction” made him eager to return to that game, although he insists it was not a case of unfinished business.

He told Chelsea’s official site: “When you’re a football man you are hooked, it’s like an addiction. You can live without it for a little while but the addiction is always there, and I just felt at some point that I wanted to live those moments during the week where you are tense, you feel the adrenalin and the emotions that you don’t get in another job.

“I’ve had it all my life and I can live without it for a little while but it’s always there, I had the fire in my belly again and wanted to do something in football.

“I think it helped me, it gave me some balance, but I didn’t see coming back into football as unfinished business. I was very happy with my career. Some people finish their career with age, some others with injury and others with their own decision, everybody is different but I never felt like it was unfinished business.”

The 42-year-old began his managerial career at MK Dons in 2008 before moving on to replace Tony Mowbray at West Bromwich Albion shortly after they were relegated from the Premier League a year later.

After acheieving automatic promotion back to the top flight in his first season at The Hawthorns, Di Matteo was sacked in 2011 after a run of poor results.

That paved the way for him to return to Stamford Bridge as Andre Villas-Boas’ assistant before replacing the Portuguese manager as interim boss following his dismissal in March last year.

Di Matteo went on to win the FA Cup and Champions League with The Blues and was handed the full time managerial role in the summer.

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