But Di Matteo insists he had no need to become Catalan copycats just to please the critics.
He said: “Everybody would like to play like Barcelona, but there isn’t another team in the world who play like them.
“It’s a culture, a way of life, a style they’ve produced through the club for many, many years. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t one who plays like Barca. And there’s only one Lionel Messi.
“I’m not preaching that we’ll be this or that. We’re going to be trying to win in the way we’re capable of, for us.
“We’ll have some good games, I’m sure. But I wouldn’t say that, consistently, other teams play over the whole season consistently attractive football. You’ll have some games better than others.”