Chelsea idol Gianfranco Zola called on the club to appoint Roberto Di Matteo on a full-time basis on Sunday after his former team-mate guided the Blues to their first Champions League crown.

Chelsea's Italian interim manager Roberto Di Matteo (C) makes the victory sign after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC on May 19, 2012 at the Fussball Arena stadium in Munich. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 4-3 yesterday.Photo: AFP

Former Chelsea striker Zola told the BBC that Di Matteo, appointed on an interim basis in March, deserved to keep the job following the Londoners’ dramatic win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

“I hope Roberto will be the manger next year because he deserves that. But whatever he does he is a Chelsea legend, not only as a player but as a manager and that is quite an achievement,” Zola said.

Di Matteo has refused to discuss his future at Stamford Bridge while the club hierarchy has said no decision will made until the close season.

Former Chelsea coach Avram Grant also believes Di Matteo should stay. Grant, who led Chelsea to the 2008 final in Moscow, said Di Matteo was the logical choice to lead the club.He is the man,” Grant told The Sun. “Roberto is responsible for the biggest achievement in Chelsea’s history.

“What he has done is unbelievable. He has led the team out of a miserable season to win the Champions League and the FA Cup.

“I’m not the guy who makes the decisions at Chelsea but he is the man.”

Meanwhile both Zola and Grant said they hoped veteran striker Didier Drogba would remain at the club after scoring the penalty which won the shoot-out.

Drogba, who had also equalised two minutes from full-time to take the game into extra-time, is out of contract this summer.

“It shows how cool Drogba is. In all their very important matches he has put a stamp on it,” Zola said.

“Drogba has been fantastic for Chelsea, not only for the goals that he scores but also for unbelievable defending. He has quite an extraordinary example of leadership on the pitch.

“If you are playing alongside someone like him you feel even more excited.

“I do (want him to stay) because he is one of the guys who has made the fortune for Chelsea. Whatever he does he has become a legend for us.”

Grant added: “You can go on and on about getting rid of the ‘old guard’ but this season and next season, whoever is manager will need experienced players.”

Do have your say:

Should Di Matteo keep the Chelsea manager’s job or should Abramovich hire someone else?


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