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Di Matteo: Conte has great chance to build something great at Chelsea for next 5-10 years

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Roberto Di Matteo was already a Chelsea legend before that night in Munich on May 2012.  After that night, after the team's heroics in the Champions League final, and all throughout the second half of that season, Di Matteo's name will forever be among the most hallowed of hallowed names at Stamford Bridge.  Even though he was fired five months later.  (Though in a way, that just adds to his legend.)

Di Matteo has always been Mr. Smooth and Mr. Class of course, so he's got nothing bad to say about Chelsea or Abramovich.  Not now, not before, and probably not ever.

"Obviously you look at the history and it's not just with me, that's the way it is and you can be critical about that or not. The fact is they have won so many trophies and had so much success you could argue that it has worked for them."

"I actually had a great relationship and I can't say a bad word about [Abramovich], he has been always very good to me, apart from the last part of it."

Incidentally, the man in charge in the opposite dugout in RDM's final game was none other than Antonio Conte!  Or he would've been, had he not been serving his four-month ban from football stemming from the latest Italian match-fixing scandal.  (Instead it was Angelo Alessio in the dugout; he should be coming to Chelsea as well as part of the new manager's entourage.)

Regardless, the former Juventus and current Italy boss will be the fifth Italian manager of Chelsea when he takes over this summer, continuing the legacy of (Cup specialist) Vialli, (soon-to-be Premier League champion) Ranieri, (Double-winner) Ancelotti, and of course Robbie D.  Not bad company, especially if he can live up to expectations.

He's a great manager, he's very well prepared.  He has been very successful at Juventus, he's doing a good job with the Italian national team. I think he will be successful."

"He's got a great chance, obviously there's a kind of a new era starting probably at Chelsea next year. They will have to start and rebuild somehow this team to be successful for the next five or 10 years."

"So I think he's got a nice, difficult job, but he's got a nice job. He's quite demanding and he's hands-on as a manager."

-Roberto Di Matteo; source: Sky via Get West London

Given how things worked out with the last guy — i.e. just as we had thought we had laid the foundations of a dynasty, it all came crashing down — perhaps we should cool any talk of long-term futures, like, say, beyond just the first year.  But while it may be prudent to protect ourselves against further such heartbreak, crucial changes have to be made this summer, many hopefully bearing long-term impact.  Whether Conte will be the man to see that all the way through, or will just be another hat on the coat rack, another name through and out the revolving door, we shall just have to wait and see and hope.

As for Di Matteo, he's been unemployed for almost a year now after lasting less than a season at Schalke 04 in 2014-15.  He's been recently linked with a return to Lazio where he had played before signing for Chelsea in 1996 as well as Trabzonspor in Turkey where he could be reunited with the Best Center Back When Playing With 10-men At The Nou Camp And Needing A Miracle Jose Bosingwa.