Roberto Di Matteo was an understated player. Through Chelsea’s resurgence in the 1990s, he was at the heart of it. But it is as a manager that he achieved true greatness, leading Chelsea to lift both the Champions League and FA Cup trophies in a few months, in what was possibly one of the greatest managerial turnarounds in modern Premier League history.
The Premier League is home to hundreds of overseas players, but go back twenty years or so and there were much fewer in the English top-flight than there is today. Foreign players were seen as exotic, flamboyant and simply different from what English football fans were used to. One player who was certainly different, but for all the right reasons, was Gianfranco Zola.
Maurizio Sarri came, saw, and won. The former Napoli coach led Chelsea to their first Europa League title, seeing off Arsenal in the Final in Baku with a storming second half. Eden Hazard scored a brace in what was likely his last match with the Blues, and goals by Jean Giroud and Pedro Rodriguez wrapped a comfortable 4-1 success against Unai Emery’s side.