It's hard to stay kings of Europe, admits Di Matteo
LONDON (AFP) - Roberto Di Matteo has warned his Chelsea players that they are marked men as the Champions League holders prepare to start their bid to retain the trophy against Juventus on Wednesday.
The Blues are back in action in Europe's elite club competition four months after their dramatic penalty shoot-out triumph over Bayern Munich in the German club's Allianz Arena capped a fairytale run under then caretaker boss Di Matteo.
When Di Matteo took charge following Andre Villas-Boas's sacking, it seemed inconceivable that the Italian would finish the season by leading Chelsea to their first Champions League title.
At that point, Chelsea trailed 3-1 to Napoli after the first leg of their last 16 tie, but within weeks Di Matteo had inspired a remarkable renaissance that saw the west London club edge past Napoli, Benfica and Barcelona before stunning Bayern in the final.