Interim Coach of Chelsea; Roberto Di Matteo has promised club owner Roman Abramovich his dream of Chelsea lifting the Champions League title is in view.
Eight managers have come and gone with an outlay of£700million in transfer fees and an estimated £2billion overall this is the second time the club will be playing the final in the nine years of Abramovich reign as the owner of the club.
The lure of the Champions League is what brought the Russian billionaire to Stamford Bridge; his hunger to win it has arguably cost half a dozen managers their jobs.
And it is very possible that the axe might still fall on the interim coach; Di Matteo even with a win on Saturday against Bayern but he is hoping that the journey will reach its end in the Allianz Arena, living in the absolutely certainty that one day Abramovich’s dreams will be realised.
Di Matteo said the time has come for Chelsea to claim the Champions League title because he has the confidence that the Blues can make it this time and he is guessing that the Boss is so excited about this.
The 68th richest person in the world, according to Forbes, Abramovich’s Champions League history is scarred by ill fortune.
Luis Garcia’s ghost goal for Liverpool in 2005, John Terry slipping as he lined up the penalty that would have secured victory over Manchester United in 2008, Andres Iniesta scoring a semi-final winner for Barcelona in injury-time 12 months later.
No amount of money can ease the pain of being kept apart from that elusive prize and Di Matteo cannot afford to get sucked into the emotion.
“You make your own destiny and fate,” he said.
“Reaching the last stages of this competition is difficult enough and you always need a bit of luck in a cup competition.”
Chelsea’s fortune came in the acceptance of Di Matteo to take charge on an interim basis following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas at the beginning of March.
It has been suggested that the decision to make a change followed expressions of discontent from senior players.
Chelsea are reliant on winning tomorrow’s game in order to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The mere fact they have that chance, having lifted the FA Cup a fortnight ago, is confirmation Di Matteo not only stabilised the situation but managed to get the Chelsea ship moving forwards again, thanks chiefly to a memorable night against Napoli in a last-16 tie that, under Villas-Boas’ watch, appeared to have drifted out of reach.
Chelsea will have to win it without inspirational skipper John Terry, who is suspended, along with Ramires, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic.
Thankfully for Di Matteo, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have recovered from their respective hamstring injuries and although Lampard sparked a worry when he did a few stretches during training, the veteran midfielder appeared unconcerned.
So now Di Matteo, who spent six seasons with the Blues as a player, will try to engineer the best day of Abramovich’s footballing life and Chelsea’s entire history, with Lampard accepting it would have been virtually impossible without the Italian manager.