Mission 'impossible' for Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo says Juventus aren't a "one-man team" as Chelsea begin an "impossible" mission.

Last Updated: 19/09/12 at 07:35 Post Comment

Roberto Di Matteo: European champion

Roberto Di Matteo: European champion

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Roberto Di Matteo has cautioned against branding Juventus a "one-man team" as Chelsea prepare to kick off their "impossible" defence of the Champions League.

The Blues face a tough Group E opener against the Italian champions, who have spent the last two seasons outside Europe's premier club competition but return on the back of an incredible 42-game unbeaten run in Serie A.

That sequence has coincided with the arrival of veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who also inspired Italy to this summer's European Championship final.

Insisting Juve were not a "one-man team", Di Matteo said: "Obviously, he's a very important player for them and dictates a little bit their game, so we will certainly have to make sure we control him, that's for sure.

"He had a fantastic tournament for Italy. He's a talented player and, since his switch to Juventus, he's shown again he's an extremely great player."

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, who will go head to head with Pirlo, added: "Playing against a legend like Pirlo is going to be great.

"But, once we step onto the pitch, it's a different story. He wants to win, I want to win. I respect him as a player and, hopefully, I can learn something from him."

After ending their agonising wait for European Cup glory in astonishing fashion last season, Chelsea are aiming to make more history by becoming the first club to defend it since it was rebranded as the Champions League.

"It's proven, so far, impossible for anyone to win it twice," Di Matteo said.

"We'll try to do the impossible."

Owner Roman Abramovich has spared no expense trying to do that, splashing out £80million this summer on the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar.

The Russian's spending spree seemed an acknowledgment Chelsea's triumph owed as much to outrageous fortune as anything but Di Matteo bristled at such a suggestion.

"It can't just be that," he said.

"You might need, and you will need, a portion of luck during a competition like this. But every team has it to be able to achieve the final target to win it.

"That's a minor part of it."

Di Matteo did admit last season's success had convinced players to join Chelsea who might otherwise have gone elsewhere.

He said of Hazard and Oscar: "They want to be involved in the biggest club competition in the world so it would have been extremely difficult to attract these players."

Juve found that after being relegated from Serie A six years ago for their part in the Italian match-fixing scandal.

The fallout continues to haunt them to this day, with manager Antonio Conte last month suspended for 10 months for his part in the saga.

The team will therefore be led tonight by coach Massimo Carrera, who said: "I'm really happy to be here.

"We're really proud that we've got the opportunity to face the champions of this competition."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

megabrow (cufc)
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

L

ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

stevenjameshyde
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

H

alf of our players have the physical presence of a 14 year old girl. I don't know why people are always shocked that they're injured.

TheWhiz
Wenger baffled by injuries

Footer 365

European Qualifiers: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge won't be fit for England, says Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has told Roy Hodgson that Daniel Sturridge will not be fit to play for England next week.

PSG stun Barca, Bayern stay 100%

PSG edged to an entertaining 3-2 Champions League win over Barcelona, while Bayern Munich beat CSKA Moscow and BATE stunned Athletic Bilbao.

Champions League: Manchester City held to home draw by Roma

Manchester City endured yet another night of Champions League frustration as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Roma.

Mail Box

#Usingfootballersnamesineverydaylife

We have the last of these as well as mails on Liverpool, Wayne Rooney, QPR, Arsenal's injuries and more. It's a mailbox that's Alonso rather than Rafael, if you will...

How Much In 'Pounds Raheem Sterling'?

A whole lot of you use footballers' names in everyday life. And you hate yourselves for it. As you should. We also have mails on Newcastle, Rooney and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property