'Completely different': Romelu Lukaku compares Di Matteo and Villas-Boas - The Chelsea Chronicle

'Completely different': Romelu Lukaku compares Di Matteo and Villas-Boas

Former Blues striker Romelu Lukaku said he still holds a grudge against former manager Andre Villas-Boas over his Champions League squad exclusion the year Chelsea won the trophy.

Lukaku arrived at Chelsea in summer 2011 as a highly-rated teenager but spent the majority of the season in the reserves under Villas-Boas.

He was not even registered in the Champions League squad that season and only made his first Premier League appearance in May after Villas-Boas’s sacking.

Chelsea finished the season with two trophies; the FA Cup and the famous Champions League under caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 05: Roberto Di Matteo caretaker manager of Chelsea is lifted by his players during the FA Cup with Budweiser Final match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Inter Milan striker told Het Laatste Nieuws: “Di Matteo told me that I would stay with the group until after the final.

“He thought everyone should come along, including the ones who were suspended and the few boys who were not in the Champions League squad. I am also grateful to him for that.

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC )

Lukaku said he was grateful to be included during team celebrations, but he refused to hold the Champions League trophy as he was not in the squad in the first place.

He said: “That is nice in itself at the age of nineteen. I am happy for the whole club, but there is one man who took a lot from me: the previous trainer (Villas-Boas). I will never forgive him for that.

“I didn’t touch it with a finger. Because I didn’t win this trophy myself.”

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

He also added that he understood that Villas-Boas was under pressure at the time but he couldn’t understand why he was left out for the Champions League squad.

“Di Matteo approached me completely differently,” said Lukaku, who left Chelsea permanently to Everton in 2014.

“He immediately involved me in everything. That should have been much earlier. Really, I never forgave the previous coach.”

Gerry is a Chelsea supporter who has more than five years of experience in online publishing. He started out writing for Chelsea fan blogs during his high school years, before writing for several local sport news outlets. After graduating in NCTJ-accredited sports journalism MA at the University of Sunderland, he has worked as a freelance writer for The Chelsea Chronicle since 2020. He is a big fan of football statistics and strongly believes that sooner or later, the xG Gods always catch up. He is also a proud member of Michael Ballack fan club.