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Di Matteo calls for belief
Published : 19 May 2012 07:47:02
Roberto di Matteo has challenged Chelsea to "make their own destiny" when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final tonight.
The Blues' recent history in the tournament is not a happy one. Whether it is Luis Garcia's ghost-goal in 2005, John Terry's penalty-shootout slip three years later or a controversial injury-time defeat to Barcelona in the semi-final 12 months after that, fate has always conspired against Chelsea.
Di Matteo is charged with altering that and, despite needing to combat a Bayern side who have the additional advantage of playing on home ground at the Allianz Arena, he is confident they can. "You make your own destiny and fate," he said.
"Reaching the last stages of this competition is difficult enough let alone the final. We can win it and we have to believe and have the confidence to do so."
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.
For owner Roman Abramovich, it must be a particularly nervous time given his estimated Â£2billion investment and the knowledge this competition has proved so elusive, having originally drawn him to Chelsea in 2003.
"I don't know how somebody else feels. I can only guess he (Abramovich) is excited," said Di Matteo. "Sooner or later it will come. We hope it's tomorrow. But with the quality that's been at this club before and will certainly come into this club again, it will happen."
Once the game ends, interim manager Di Matteo will not be able to sidestep questions surrounding his own future. Throughout his short tenure, the Italian has skilfully avoided the subject.
"We haven't had time to discuss it, and it wasn't relevant anyway," said Di Matteo on Friday night. "I don't know what the future will hold. I am entirely focused on this game."