Di Matteo: I could have been a butcher

Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has revealed how he nearly became a butcher when he was younger, rather than starting a career in football.

The former Italian international plied his trade at a local butchers as a teenager, before eventually deciding against the apprenticeship.

"I've never told anyone this before but I started an apprenticeship as a butcher when I was 16," Di Matteo says in the May 2012 issue of FourFourTwo magazine.

"I lasted three weeks and then I dropped out. I couldn’t handle the thought of doing it for the rest of my life, but I’d actually helped out there before becoming an apprentice so I knew how to use the knives.

"My father, who had encouraged me to study and not become a butcher, was very embarrassed when he went to explain to the butcher that I wasn’t going to continue."

Now that he’s back at Chelsea, the 41-year-old concedes that one of his major regrets is selling his home in London once he initially left the club back in 2002.

"My one regret is selling my flat in South Kensington after I left Chelsea. It’s gone up in price a fair bit since!"

Di Matteo has impressed since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge and is a firm favourite for the full-time role after steering the Blues to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League.

Read the full interview with Roberto Di Matteo in the May 2012 issue of FourFourTwo magazine – out now.

It features interviews with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fabrizio Ravanelli and takes a thorough look at how Harry Redknapp has become ‘the people’s choice’ for England from those who know him.

It also reveals the top 50 Football League players and talks to Zico and Oriel Romeu. Subscribe!

By Elliott Binks