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Nov 21, 2012

Life under Roman Abramovich

On Wednesday, Roberto Di Matteo became the latest Chelsea manager to be removed from his post by Russian owner Roman Abramovich, just six months after guiding them to the Champions League title.

Here's a look back at the managers under Abramovich:

CLAUDIO RANIERI (September 2000 to May 2004)

Life under Abramovich: The first manager to spend Abramovich's billions was under pressure from Day 1 amid rumours Sven-Goran Eriksson was being lined up to replace him. "Tinkerman" tag did not help the Italian and, despite finishing second in the Barclays Premier League and reaching the Champions League semifinals, he was sacked.

Life after Abramovich: Returned to former club Valencia, immediately winning the European Super Cup. But was sacked six months later and has won nothing since, despite landing prestigious jobs at Parma, Juventus, Roma, and Inter Milan. Currently managing Monaco in France's second tier.

JOSE MOURINHO (June 2004 to September 2007)

Life under Abramovich: Declared himself a "Special One," and completely lived up to the moniker, becoming the most successful Chelsea manager ever. Immediately ended their 50-year wait for a league title with back-to-back Barclays Premier League crowns and also won the FA Cup and two Carling Cups. Champions League glory remained elusive and a power struggle with Abramovich eventually saw him leave.

Life after Abramovich: Heavily linked with the England job before eventually resurfacing at Inter Milan. One of the most successful bosses in their history, he became only the third manager to win the European Cup with two clubs. Now at Real Madrid, where he became the first man to win league titles in England, Italy and Spain, although Champions League success evades him in the Spanish capital.

AVRAM GRANT (September 2007 to May 2008)

Life under Abramovich: Less than two months after arriving as director of football, Grant found himself parachuted into the manager's hot seat. Speculation was rife he did not have the backing of the dressing room but still managed to get the club to their only Champions League final. Also reached the Carling Cup final and finished second in the Premier League before sacking.

Life after Abramovich: History repeated itself as Grant joined Portsmouth as director of football in October 2009, once again becoming manager less than two months later. Boosted reputation by leading side to the FA Cup final despite administration saga that saw them relegated. Resigned and joined West Ham but was sacked after they were also relegated.

LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI (July 2008 to February 2009)

Life under Abramovich: Billed as the man to inspire Chelsea to take the final step in Champions League, World Cup-winner Scolari enjoyed a flying start but things soon began to go wrong amid rumours of dressing-room unrest. The timing of the Brazilian's sacking after just seven months still came as shock.

Life after Abramovich: Made surprise decision to move to Uzbekistan and join champions FC Bunyodkor, although the salary reportedly made him one of the highest-paid managers around. Left after less than a year and returned to former club Palmeiras, but recently lost his job.

GUUS HIDDINK (February 2009 to May 2009)

Life under Abramovich: Still revered by players and fans for rescuing Chelsea's season while combining Russia job with a caretaker role at Stamford Bridge. Won the FA Cup and desperately unlucky in not reaching the Champions League final. Hiddink lost only one game while in charge.

Life after Abramovich: Continued as Russia boss until June 2010, leaving after failing to lead them to the World Cup. Became Turkey manager but left in November after losing another playoff, this time for the European Championship. Persistently linked with a return to Chelsea after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked before joining mega-rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in February.

CARLO ANCELOTTI (June 2009 to May 2011)

Life under Abramovich: Recruited largely because of two Champions League successes at AC Milan, instead delivered Chelsea's first double in maiden season. Nevertheless damaged by losing in the last 16 in the the Champions League, and a trophy-less season followed.

Life after Abramovich: Linked with several jobs in England and abroad, December saw him appointed manager of big-spending Ligue 1 leaders Paris St. Germain.

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS (June 2011 to March 2012)

Life under Abramovich: Arrived in London to a splash of publicity and dubbed as the "new Mourinho" after a stellar spell in charge of Porto, which took in domestic and European titles. Cracks soon emerged, though, with senior players reportedly baffled by his methods and unhappy with his selection policy. He was sacked after a defeat at West Brom.

Life after Abramovich: Returned to English football in the summer when he replaced Harry Redknapp at Tottenham. Domestic form has been mixed, with a memorable victory at Manchester United the highlight and punishing derby defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea the lows.

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