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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo was born in Sciaffusa, Switzerland, on May 29 1970.

Source Wikipedia

His parents were Italian immigrants. He started playing football in the local youth team and at the age of 18 was signed to FC Zurich where he played as sweeper. In 1992 he was sold to Aarau and won the Swiss National League A.

He attracted attention and since he had an Italian passport, Serie A began to take an interest in him. Lazio signed him in 1993 but Di Matteo’s expectations were low. “I thought I wouldn't play more than 25 games”, he said. He came on in the first game of the season against Foggia and never left the squad for three years.

Di Matteo was a similar player to Declan Rice. He gave order to the Lazio midfield and was a great player liked by both Dino Zoff and Zdenek Zeman. He played 115 games for Lazio (88 in Serie A, 13 in Coppa Italia and 14 in the UEFA Cup) and scored seven goals all in Serie A.

In 1996 Lazio sold him to Chelsea. He was one of the players that helped the London club start establishing themselves as one of the most important in the Premiership. In his first season he won the FA Cup (scoring one of the goals), in his second the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the League Cup (scoring the second goal), in his third the UEFA Super Cup and in his fourth another FA Cup with him scoring the winning goal.

Unfortunately, in the 2000-01 season he suffered a triple leg fracture in a UEFA Cup match against St. Gallen and was out of action for 18 months. He tried a comeback but had to quit football in February 2002 at just 31 years of age. It was unfortunate because there was a strong possibility of him coming back to Lazio.

He played 34 games for Italy (2 goals) and was in the squad at Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup.

In July 2008 Di Matteo became the manager of Milton Keynes Dons in League One and helped the team get to the play-offs. They were beaten in the semi-final. In 2009 he was appointed manager for West Bromwich Albion who had just been relegated from the Premier League. In his first season the team finished second and were promoted, but he was sacked the following year after WBA had won only two games out of ten between December and January.

In 2011 he was appointed assistant to André Vilas Boas, the new Chelsea manager. The Portuguese head coach was sacked in March 2012 and Di Matteo became caretaker manager. He did so well that Chelsea won both the FA Cup as well as the Champions League. As a consequence he was confirmed as manager, but Chelsea did not live up to expectations and he was sacked in November.

In October 2014 he joined Schalke 04. The German team did well and managed to advance to the knockout phase in the Champions League (where they lost to Real Madrid after winning away 4-3). But in the last ten games of the season they only won two games and lost their place in the next Champions League. He resigned.

In June 2016 he was appointed manager of the newly relegated Aston Villa but was sacked in October.

In January 2023 he signed for Jeonbuk Hyundai in the first Korean division as assistant to coach Kim Sang-sik.

Lazio Career


Total Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia



35 (4)

29 (4)




42 (1)

28 (1)




38 (2)

31 (2)




115 (7)

88 (7)





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