Roberto di Matteo might be gone, but it's safe to say he won't ever be forgotten amongst Chelsea fans. Although his accomplishments as both a player and a manager were impressive, his effortless grace and utter serenity under pressure distinguished him still further, and both were displayed in full today:
It was an honour for me to be appointed manager of a club that I loved playing for and one that is so close to my heart. I am extremely proud of the successes and trophies that we were able to bring to the club in recent months.
Lifting Chelsea's first Champions League trophy, in Munich, was the best achievement in club history and without doubt the highlight of my career to date, both as a player and manager. It is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.
I have a deep and unreserved passion for Chelsea Football Club and I would like to sincerely thank all of the staff, my players and of course the Chelsea fans, for their tremendous and unconditioned support in the intense time I have been the manager at the Bridge. I wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond.
-Roberto di Matteo. Source: LMA.
Honestly, it's difficult to read that without flashing back to May 19th, one of the few times the man let his unreserved passion for the club boil to the surface. "I won it," he cried at Roman Abramovich. It was Chelsea's finest hour. Today was some distance from fine, but di Matteo demonstrated his incredible reserves of quiet dignity despite being utterly failed by a club which was only to happy to celebrate his achievements while scheming to dispose of him.
Thank you for everything Robbie. I'm glad you know just how much you mean to the fans.