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Baba determined to repay Schalke faith

Football
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Roberto Di Matteo 'steps down' as Schalke boss after missing out on UCL

Roberto Di Matteo has paid for Schalke's late-season slump.

Schalke have confirmed that Roberto Di Matteo has resigned from his position as the club's head coach after just six months in the job.

Di Matteo, 44, only took over at the Veltins Arena in October when he replaced Jens Keller, and led the club to the quarterfinals of the Champions League where they lost 5-4 on aggregate to defending champions Real Madrid.

However, a run of just two wins in their final 10 Bundesliga matches following their European exit saw them finish in sixth place and having to settle for a place in next season's Europa League.

Reports at the weekend claimed the former Chelsea boss had been sacked, but a club statement on Tuesday said the Italian has resigned instead.

The Italian, whose contract was due to expire in 2017, said on the club's official website: "A fresh start appears to be the best for everyone to me, especially for the fans who have grown on me."

Schalke's sporting executive Horst Heldt said: "When we realised during our talks that we have different opinions on the future, his approach always included the best for the club.

"Those reports of a sacking published on Sunday are not true."

Di Matteo's assistant coaches Attilio Lombardo and Massimo Battara will also leave the Gelsenkirchen club.

Elsewhere, Thomas Schaaf has handed in his resignation at Eintracht Frankfurt following in-fighting between the club hierarchies.

Despite a ninth-place finish in Bundesliga and a valid contract until 2016, Schaaf will leave Frankfurt after only one season.

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