Last Updated: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 06:03
Roberto Di Matteo was sacked by Chelsea after he refused to play Fernando Torres against Juventus on Tuesday, reports have claimed.
Di Matteo was ousted from his position just six months after guiding the club to European glory and although poor results in the Champions League have not helped, reports claim that the axing of Torres was the final straw for Roman Abramovich.
The Italian decided to leave him on the bench and preferred to play Juan Mata in attack. It was a decision that did not go down well with Abramovich, who swiftly sacked him and brought in Rafa Benitez as interim boss.
Despite his departure, Di Matteo does not sound bitter and instead chose to reveal how proud he was to manage the club he loved and win two trophies.
"It was an honour for me to be appointed manager of a club that I loved playing for and one that is so close to my heart," he said in a statement issued by the League Managers Association.
"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.
"I have a deep and unreserved passion for Chelsea football club and I would like to sincerely thank all of the staff, my players and of course the Chelsea fans, for their tremendous and unconditioned support in the intense time I have been the manager at the Bridge. I wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond."
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