Jose Mourinho is currently the bookies' favourite to take the managerial reins at Chelsea this summer - but I believe former Blues midfielder Di Matteo is starting to build a strong case for his own appointment.
The 41-year-old was handed the task of warming the Stamford Bridge hot-seat until the end of the season after ruthless owner Roman Abramovich sacked his eighth manager in nine years at the helm when he ushered Andre Villas-Boas to the exit door.
And the Italian currently has a perfect record as Chelsea boss, having seen off Leicester in the FA Cup on Sunday after overseeing their historic Champions League comeback win over Napoli, who landed in London this week with a 3-1 first-leg advantage.
Di Matteo had restored shattered morale within the squad with an FA Cup win over Birmingham and a Premier League victory over 10-man Stoke.
But with all due respect to Chris Hughton's Blues and Tony Pulis' Potters, Wednesday night was the first real test of his managerial ability, as the Blues are plying their trade in England's second tier and Ricardo Fuller's red mist made life easier against the men from the Potteries.
Napoli not only started Wednesday's clash with a healthy 3-1 lead, but also with highly-regarded attacking trio Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik in their armoury.
Di Matteo knew he had to be brave in his team selection but did what Villas-Boas' stubbornly refused to do during his tenure - backed the Old Guard.
Debate is raging up and down the country about who will replace the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard - but they all showed on the night that they are first-class performers who still have plenty to offer.
Drogba got the ball rolling with his 29th-minute opener and was later seen orchestrating the Stamford Bridge crowd to a stirring crescendo in the dying minutes of extra-time; Terry lifted spirit levels with his thumping header from a Lampard corner on 48 minutes; and Lampard drew upon all his big-match experience when converting his 75th-minute spot-kick with aplomb.
I agree that the trio have far too much power within the club - but like Chelsea supporters they love and care for the club, and this is where Di Matteo has an ace up his sleeve.
The former Lazio man is not even being considered as a contender by bookies, who have Mourinho and Pep Guardiola high on their hit-list.
But Abramovich only has to look at the success that Guardiola, also 41, has enjoyed at the Nou Camp, where his status as a club legend ensured fans were behind him from the minute he took the reins from Frank Rijkaard.
As a Chelsea player, Di Matteo not only won the FA Cup twice, he actually netted vital goals in both games, famously scoring after 42 seconds in 1997 and bagging the winner against Aston Villa in 2000.
He also won a League Cup, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and a UEFA Super Cup in their trophy-laden 1997-98 season, finishing with 15 goals from 119 games, so has an affinity with the club Villas-Boas had no chance of matching.
Di Matteo even has international pedigree, having been capped 34 times for Italy, scoring two goals and playing in Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup.
Then there's the charm factor.
Alan Irvine was all set to be named as Tony Mowbray's successor at West Brom in 2009 until Di Matteo blew the Hawthorns hierarchy away with a dazzling interview full of hunger, passion and ambition.
He had caught the eye during a brief spell at MK Dons, where he won 27 and drew 11 of his 52 games in charge (51.92%).
And he delivered the good for the Baggies, steering them to automatic promotion in a 2009-10 campaign which saw them tear the second tier apart, scoring 89 goals in 46 games as they racked up 91 points and won 16 of 23 home games, finishing second only to Hughton's ton-up Magpies.
Following a bright start to life in the Premier League, things turned sour at Albion and they got dragged into a relegation battle, with one of the reasons floated that Di Matteo started to focus too much on the glare of the top-flight limelight and not enough on his players.
It appears he has learnt his lesson, as his celebrations at the final whistle on Wednesday night - when he ran on to the pitch and hugged each and every member of his heroic line-up - displayed a connection and chemistry with them that Villas-Boas could only have dreamed of.
Sunday's FA Cup win over the Foxes means the momentum has gathered more pace ahead of a huge league double-header with Manchester City and Tottenham.
Delivering Champions League football for next season is Abramovich's number-one requirement right now - and continued progress in Europe's elite competition this season following their quarter-final draw with Benfica will only serve to strengthen the Italian's case.
The man himself says: "For me, in my position at the moment, I am just trying to win match after match so what happens after is not important. I am just focused on the games now.
"I don't really think about myself. I am just focused on trying to win games for Chelsea Football Club and trying to get the best out of the players."
He appears to be winning the fans over, though, with cfc1905 (Chelsea) saying on our Chelsea Your Say board: "I appreciate it is only three games under RDM but his substitutions have made far more sense and impacted the games better than anything AVB did. My only negative thought was replacing JT with Boswinga but seeing as we got the result, I will bow to RDM's better judgement! Must admit, a very impressive start to his Chelsea managerial career and so far, certainly doing no harm in his efforts to take on the job full time."
It is widely thought that Abramovich believes an experienced manager is the key to ending his all-consuming desire to conquer Europe - but he should note that Guardiola won the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his first full season at Barca.
The Chelsea supremo got his fingers burned with his expensive gamble on Villas-Boas - but it appears that in parting ways with the Portuguese coach, he may have stumbled upon the man who could manage the Blues for the foreseeable future.
You can follow Simon Wilkes on Twitter, @SimonJWilkes.
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