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Maurizio Sarri set to become sixth Italian manager at Chelsea

By July 13, 2018No Comments

Maurizio Sarri is widely expected to become the next manager at Chelsea following Antonio Conte’s departure on Friday.

If appointed Sarri, 59, would be Chelsea’s sixth Italian manager after Conte, who leaves following two seasons in charge of the Blues.

Here, Press Association Sport looks back at the Italians who have taken charge at Stamford Bridge and how they fared.

Gianluca Vialli (1998-2000)

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Gianluca Vialli celebrating Chelsea’s FA Cup win against Aston Villa (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Vialli was appointed Chelsea’s player-manager after Ruud Gullit was sacked in February, 1998. Vialli, then only 33, became the first Italian to manage in the Premier League. Chelsea were already in the semi-finals of the League Cup and the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, and the Blues won both with Vialli in charge. In the following season, Chelsea beat Real Madrid in the Super Cup, and went on to finish third in the Premier League, their best finish in nearly 30 years. The Blues reached the last-eight on their debut in the Champions League before Vialli claimed his fourth major honour as manager when Chelsea saw off Aston Villa in the 2000 FA Cup final. Vialli was sacked after just five matches of the following campaign, however, after a troubled start and disagreements with a number of senior players.

Claudio Ranieri (2000-2004)

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Claudio Ranieri, pictured last season with Roman Abramovich (Nick Potts/PA)

Ranieri earned the nickname “Tinkerman” during his tenure at Chelsea after he was accused over over-rotating his squad. Chelsea finished sixth during his first season, and then sixth the following year. The Blues also reached the FA Cup final, but lost 2-0 to Arsenal. Chelsea then qualified for the Champions League in Ranieri’s third year before Roman Abramovich took over the club. Ranieri spent £120million signing Damien Duff, Wayne Bridge, Glen Johnson, Juan Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo, Claude Makelele and Adrian Mutu. Chelsea finished runners-up to Arsenal, their best finish in half-a-century, and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League before Ranieri was replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Carlo Ancelotti (2009-2011)

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Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after only two seasons at Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

Ancelotti led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season as they beat Manchester United by just one point. Under Ancelotti, Chelsea became the first side to score more than a century of Premier League goals, finding the back of the net 103 times. Ancelotti was the first Italian to win the Premier League, and just six days later led Chelsea to victory over Portsmouth in the FA Cup. Chelsea finished second to United the following season, but Ancelotti was sacked just two hours after his final league game. Ancelotti’s Premier League win percentage is third only to Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Roberto Di Matteo (March 2012 – November 2012)

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Roberto Di Matteo won the European Cup and FA Cup while in charge (Nick Potts/PA)

Di Matteo was appointed as caretaker manager after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March 2012. Di Matteo guided Chelsea to the FA Cup final, which they won with a 2-1 victory against Liverpool, and the Champions League final, too. Chelsea were trailing with two minutes to go before Didier Drogba’s bullet header took the tie to extra-time and penalties. The Blues won the shootout, and it marked their first European Cup triumph, and they also became the first London club to win the Champions League. Di Matteo was taken on as the club’s permanent manager, but was sacked in November, 2012 after just eight months in charge.

Antonio Conte (2017-2018)

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Antonio Conte has been given his marching orders by Chelsea (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Conte won the Premier League in his first season at Stamford Bridge as the Blues set a new club record with 11 consecutive league wins. Chelsea wrapped up the title with two games to spare, and Conte signed a new two-year deal. But the Italian fell out with the club’s hierarchy, and despite winning the FA Cup in his second season after a 1-0 victory against Manchester United, Conte was shown the door.