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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 19, 2012

Terry backs Di Matteo for job

Absent skipper John Terry called for Roberto Di Matteo to be given the job on a full-time basis after Chelsea won the Champions League final in Munich.

•  Bayern Munich 1(3)-1(4) Chelsea
• Champions League Gallery Photo Gallery

"Robbie has been fantastic since he came in," he told ITV 1. "You look at that trophy. That's certainly what we've been waiting for, what the owner's been waiting for, what the owner was in tears for.

"He's strived for this, he's pumped an awful lot of money into this football club trying top achieve that. Tonight we've done that and Robbie deserves a lot of credit for that."

On the Italian's chances of becoming manager permanently, he added: "We hope so. He's been fantastic. He can't do any more than he's done. To win the FA Cup and the Champions League, he can't do more than that."

The England defender also added on Sky Sports 1, that he was grateful to UEFA for allowing him to carry the cup.

"It means the world to me," he said. "It was a great touch from Frank and a really nice gesture from UEFA. It was a really unfortunate situation I put myself in, but on nights like this you have to be involved."

Goalkeeper Petr Cech believes Di Matteo has staked a strong claim to be manager on a permanent basis.

Cech said on ITV1: "Whatever happens to him he's got two fantastic cups and he's deserved that. I think he's done enough to get the job but now it's up to the board to decide."

Looking back to Chelsea's last Champions League final four years ago, Cech said: "When we lost the penalty shoot-out against Manchester United in Moscow maybe it was not meant to be our moment.

"But as a player you hope you will have the same opportunity to play the final. It was a rollercoaster road, we all enjoyed it, and we got there in the end.

"I faced six penalties and six times I went the right way, four times I touched the ball."

Di Matteo himself refused to discuss his future after Chelsea were handed the trophy.

He said on ITV1: "I'm enjoying this moment and I'd just like to go out and celebrate with the players. I won't talk about it now. I just want to enjoy the moment."

Di Matteo later added: "I feel great. But I need a holiday because these last three months have been very challenging. At this moment, whatever the future holds for me is irrelevant."

As he went up to get his medal at the Allianz Arena, it did appear Di Matteo said "we did it" as he embraced Abramovich. However, he would not confirm that in the aftermath.

"I don't discuss those things in public," he said. "But he looked very happy on what was an historic night for our football club."

Di Matteo also claimed Chelsea deserve to take their place in next season's Champions League, which they will do at Tottenham's expense, even though they could only finish sixth in this year's Premier League.

"I do feel the winners should qualify for next season's competition," he said. "That is the right thing. Whether it is fair or not for Tottenham to be in as well is not really for me to answer."

The Italian hailed his team's spirit, saying: "We have a group of players that have a big heart, passion, motivation and desire. That was the only way to be able to achieve this trophy. It's been an immense effort by the whole group - staff, players - and we are very happy tonight."

Asked whether he had doubts when Bayern took a late lead, Di Matteo said: "Bayern is a good team and when they scored there was not much time left. Games like this need passion and players who rise to the occasion. We've got a lot of players like that, who have done it before and did it against today."

Di Matteo took over from Andre Villas-Boas at the start of March, and said: "It's been an incredible three months, demanding and challenging for everybody."

Former Blues boss Avram Grant was another to claim Di Matteo deserves to retain the role on a permanent basis.

"He is the man," Grant told The Sun. "Roberto Di Matteo is responsible for the biggest achievement in Chelsea's history. What he has done is unbelievable. He has led the team out of a miserable season to win the Champions League and the FA Cup."

"I'm not the guy who makes the decisions at Chelsea but he's the man. Sometimes when a club takes on a coach who is not so famous and the team is not doing so well everybody would say it's his fault. So when it goes well, he should get the credit. It's justice."

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