Regardless of whether Chelsea can overcome Bayern Munich in their own backyard in the Champions League final, Roberto Di Matteo has made a compelling case for taking on the managerial hot seat at Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis next season – and owner Roman Abramovich would be wise to put his faith in the former Blues midfielder.

A thrilling European run, coupled with an FA Cup final victory over Liverpool, have revived Chelsea – and the Italian deserves great credit for resurrecting a campaign that was heading for despair just over two months ago. He has handled a tricky situation with great confidence, poise and character.

Given former manager Andre Villas-Boas’ anticlimactic spell at the helm, Abramovich may be hesitant about turning once again to a relatively untried candidate, when the likes of Rafael Benitez or Fabio Capello are head and shoulders above Di Matteo in terms of experience. Even Josep Guardiola, the same age as Di Matteo, has considerably more big game experience. In contrast, the Italian has only short stints at MK Dons and West Brom on his resume.

But make no mistake, his age should not rule him out. Villas-Boas did not fail because he was 33 years of age. After all, Jose Mourinho was only 41 when he arrived at Stamford Bridge – the same age as Di Matteo is now. In Villas-Boas’ case, his fall seemingly came in large part because he lost the ear of significant members of the Chelsea dressing room and failed to build close relationships with some of his key players. The team’s change of fortunes since his departure is extremely telling.

Di Matteo has not made the same mistakes as his predecessor. His relationship with club captain John Terry is strong and he has also helped Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba bounce back from difficult patches earlier in the season; Fernando Torres has even been among the goals again. But while he has made huge strides on the training ground bringing the squad closer together, Di Matteo’s finest hours came in the two legs against Barcelona as he masterminded two of the most disciplined, courageous performances ever seen in the competition.

He is a players’ coach – and the Blues’ squad certainly want the Italian to stick around and lead the club forward.

“Robbie deserves everything, he’s turned the club around", Lampard said after the FA Cup final win. "He is getting the best out of the players and that is what wins you games".

Ashley Cole added: "We could have had a disastrous season, now we have won the FA Cup and have the chance to win the Champions League. Roberto always had belief in us, he saw what we did in training and he trusted us. We always think every game now we can win it, we never give up".

As for Di Matteo himself, he is not losing sleep over the uncertainty. "The boss [Roman Abramovich] will make a decision at the end of the season. I’m very relaxed about it and the players will be fine. We have had a difficult season with a lot of criticism but have responded to all the adversity we have faced".

Of course, the Chelsea revival might have a new, final chapter on 19th May when the Blues head to Munich, hoping to banish the memories of their shootout loss to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final. Chelsea will have to do it without suspended quartet Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires and there are doubts over the fitness of Gary Cahill and David Luiz – but Di Matteo tends to prosper when his back is against the wall.

Should Chelsea prevail – and finally win the trophy that Abramovich has always coveted most – then Di Matteo’s full-time appointment is a no-brainer. How could anyone pass over a candidate that has just brought home two pieces of silverware, including the biggest club prize in European football? If Bayern Munich are too strong on the night, though, it could open up doubts about giving Di Matteo the keys to the club’s future. It should not – but it might.

The Italian has done everything asked of him this season – and more. He knows the club inside out, is adored by players and supporters alike, and has already proved that he can put Chelsea in a position to compete for silverware. That sounds like a winning recipe.