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Roberto di Matteo, who was forced to end his playing career because of a serious leg injury, will lead Chelsea out ahead of the FA Cup final.

The 31-year-old was forced to retire two months ago after failing to recover from a broken leg sustained in September 2000.

The Italian midfielder scored in Chelsea's FA Cup triumphs in 1997 and 2000.

His strike in the 43rd second against Middlesbrough in 1997 was the fastest goal in FA Cup final history.

And his goal against Aston Villa three years later was the last at Wembley.
Di Matteo, who won 34 caps for Italy, broke his leg in the Uefa Cup first round tie against Swiss side St Gallen in 2000.

He decided to quit 16 months later.

"I tried and trained and it gave me some hope but, in the end, I couldn't go ahead," he said.

"It was becoming too much. I wasn't seeing any improvement any more.

"My leg was always painful and uncomfortable."

Di Matteo has great memories of his previous appearances in FA Cup finals.

"It's nice to stay in some way in the history of football," he said.
"It does mean a lot to me and also to Chelsea. I am very grateful that I had the chance to do it."

The Italian, who owns a restaurant in London, is not sure if he will stay in football as a manager.

"Seeing some other people becoming managers and what it did to them has really turned it bad for me, but you never know," he said.

"I have no plans. You never know what's going to happen in your life so you just take it week by week and month by month."


What a nice move :)

Keyboard Hero
8,395 Posts
It's a beutiful move.

Can't wait to see him lead the lads out there.

Come you Bluuuuueeeess!!!!!

Kick some gooner arse!!!!

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