JOHN Mikel Obi has thanked Chelsea caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo for the confidence boost that enabled him and his team mates to bring home the Champions League trophy.
Mikel was one of Chelsea's star performers, as a professionally masterful defensive display locked out rivals Bayern Munich in their dream final.
Mikel, out in the cold under former boss Andre Villas-Boas, has been a key part of the Blues side since Di Matteo took the helm.
The Nigerian midfielder said: “When he (Di Matteo) took over, he had a word with me and said he knows how good I am, I am just maybe lacking a bit of confidence.
“And he gave it back to me. And I am very very happy, and I am very very proud as well of the way the boys have worked really hard. We all deserve this.”
Di Matteo is still yet to learn whether he will be awarded the full-time job of managing Chelsea. But Mikel says it may not even matter to the Italian – given what he has achieved, and the doors Chelsea's Champions League win will now open for him.
He said: “Robbie is a very very happy man for what he has achieved. I think he is going to be very very happy whether he gets the job or not. He has done fantastically well. And we, the players, are very very happy with what he has done.”
So will he get the job? “I don't know,” said Mikel, “it depends on the club. I would like to see him get the job. I, personally, would like him to get the job.
“But, at the end of the day, the club will make the right decision.”
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