Roberto Di Matteo has been airbrushed out of Chelsea’s Champions League history after the club replaced his image on an iconic wall at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s history-making manager, sacked last November by owner Roman Abramovich, was pictured on the West Stand wall with the rest of the squad and their trophies at the start of the season.
Di Matteo has now been replaced by a huge image of Chelsea’s players and coaching staff — minus the manager — celebrating the club’s first European Cup triumph in the Allianz Arena.
And Chelsea supporters, who often take souvenir pictures next to the giant poster, have been left stunned by the decision.
The new image is one of the few in existence with the team and coaching staff celebrating their triumph without Di Matteo present.
The popular Italian led Chelsea to their first European Cup last May, but was brutally axed following a 3-0 defeat at Juventus in November.
The original picture of the squad was in place at the start of the season, but Di Matteo has only just been removed. He was still in place when Chelsea played Wigan at Stamford Bridge on February 9, but had gone by the time they faced Brentford in an FA Cup fourth-round replay on February 17. Although the club insist the change was made because Di Matteo is no longer Chelsea manager, they are still using pictures of other departed stars in the new image outside Stamford Bridge.
Didier Drogba, who struck the winning penalty against Bayern Munich last May, is in the front row with Chelsea’s players.
Florent Malouda, banished to training with the academy players in his final year and told he will never play for Chelsea again, is also in the frame.
Jose Bosingwa, who joined QPR in the summer on a free transfer, is another former player captured on the image, which has a prominent place just by the stadium’s entrance.
Chelsea last night pointed out that Di Matteo is pictured with the FA Cup in another area of the concourse. – Daily Mail