Exactly 6 months and 1 day from the most euphoric and historic day in Chelsea history we say goodbye to the man who led us into the ability to call ourselves the Champions of Europe.
Before I proceed I am writing this as if it is an obituary; I feel as though it is the ending of a life. I may not necessarily mean a human life, but as I am writing this I feel as though something has died. I understand that this is not nearly as tragic as an actual loss of life so in no way should you take this as making light of losing someone close to us.
With respects to the departed I would like to highlight some of my favorite memories of watching Robbie, first as a player, and then riding the wave of emotion that were his days as manager of our Chelsea FC.
The very first thing I always think about when I remember Robbie as a player were those socks pulled up over his knees and the day he bleached his hair against Sheffield Wednesday. Combine that with that absolute screamer against Arsenal, that day against Aston Villa, and always knowing he would show up and always play at 100%. The thing that has always impressed me about Robbie as Coach has been his demeanor- his ability to make any amount of pressure look and sound like a day at the beach. He was able to take an internally combusting locker room and galvanize them into a team that had one purpose and one goal and played for the badge and for honor. He brought us first through Napoli, then Wembly, winning 5-1 against the whites from the north of London and eventually winning the FA cup! In and of itself that would have been fantastic given what had been a struggling disaster under his former boss. However, he then brought us through Benfica – after which, we won over a side that everyone said would be the end of our season in Barcelona over two legs, and finally to that fateful day in Munich, on which every Chelsea fan old or young, new or seasoned remembers where they were when he and Eddie jumped into each others’ arms as THAT goal went in. That showed how much he wanted the title of Champions of Europe!
I would never say that everything he did was perfect but he has always handled every situation with class and a dignity that is perfectly exemplified in the way he has now been removed from our ranks saying:
“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.” (find the rest of his parting comments here: http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2012/11/21/3546427/di-matteo-honoured-to-manage-chelsea-after-sacking )
He managed this club for 262 Glorious days, he leaves us as the first team in London to be crowned Champions of Europ,e and we the Chelsea faithful will always have a special place in our hearts for #OneDiMatteo This Video by @feroz17 is used with permission and should make you cry a bit Just copy and past it. http://t.co/CF9BnRz6