Branislav Ivanović

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Branislav Ivanović
Branislav Ivanovic 2.jpg
0Full Name Branislav Ivanović
0Date of Birth 22 February 1984
0Place of Birth Sremska Mitrovica,
SFR Yugoslavia
0Position Right back
Centre back
0Chelsea career 2008–2017
0Debut 24 September 2008
0Games (goals) 377 (34)
0Other clubs Srem
OFK Beograd
Lokomotiv Moscow

Branislav Ivanović (born 22 February 1984 in Sremska Mitrovica, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Serbian international who played for Chelsea between 2008 and 2017. A regular starter during a highly successful, though often tumultuous, period of Chelsea's history, Ivanović was employed in both central defence and at right back, though mostly and increasingly in the latter position. Ivanović signed from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2008, but didn't make his first team debut until the 2008-09 season. Offensively he was a threat from both set pieces and open play, and scored several important goals. Having been an unused substitute for the 2009 FA Cup Final, he was part of Chelsea's double winning side in 2009-10, and was voted into the PFA Team of the Year for that season by his peers in recognition of his performances throughout the season. He won a third FA Cup-winners medal in 2012, and though he was suspended for the final, he was an important member of Chelsea's 2012 UEFA Champions League-winning squad. The following season he scored the winning goal in the dying moments to secure the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League title for Chelsea. After nine years in west London he returned to Russia to join Zenit St Petersburg in January 2017.


Before Chelsea

Ivanović began his career in his home town with Srem, before transferring to OFK Beograd in December 2003, during the 2003-04 winter transfer window. After three years of playing in the Serbian Superliga he was signed by Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2006. Coached by compatriot Slavoljub Muslin, 22-year-old Ivanović made an immediate impact, appearing in 28 league matches, scoring two goals. He was substituted only twice during the entire league season and contributed greatly to Lokomotiv's title challenge that ultimately ran out of steam near the end of the season. He sealed his place as a regular in the Serbian national team during his career in Russia. In the following season, Ivanović, by now an established squad member, made 26 league appearances and scored three goals. During his time with Lokomotiv Moscow, the only major honour he won was the Russian Cup in 2007.

Chelsea career


On 15 January 2008, Chelsea confirmed that the club had agreed terms with Lokomotiv Moscow for Ivanović's transfer subject to the agreement of personal terms and the passing of a medical, having beaten competition from the likes of AC Milan, Ajax, Juventus and Internazionale for his signature. Though the transfer fee wasn't disclosed by Chelsea, it was speculated to be in the region og £9 million, and Lokomotiv Moscow announced a fee of €13 million (£9.7 million). According to the club, the transfer was the largest in Russian football history. Ivanović signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Chelsea the following day. He was given the number 2 shirt.

Despite the substantial price tag, Ivanović did not make a first team appearance for Chelsea during the 2007-08 season under manager Avram Grant. The reason given by the club was a lack of match fitness as a result of the Russian league season's conclusion several months before his signing. However, he did play twice for the Chelsea reserve side.


All throughout the summer 2008 off-season, Ivanović was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, most notably to AC Milan and Juventus. However, he got a vote of confidence from new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari who said Ivanović featured in his plans for the new season.

More than eight months after becoming a Chelsea player, Ivanović finally made an appearance for the club's first team, getting a start against Portsmouth in the League Cup on 24 September 2008. He later went on to make his Premier League debut against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on 5 October, contributing to another clean sheet as Chelsea won 2-0. He had played a total of nine games in the early part of the 2008-09 season under Scolari's tenure, which came to an end in early February 2009.

Towards the end of the January 2009 transfer window, Ivanović became a transfer target for another Serie A club, Fiorentina. On 27 January, his agent Vlado Borozan confirmed ongoing negotiations with the club, however on 1 February, Italian player manager Ernesto Broseti said that Chelsea appeared unwilling to sell Ivanović and that he will likely remain in London, as proved to be the case. His first start under new manager Guus Hiddink came on 4 April away at Newcastle United. It was Ivanović's first league appearance in more than three months for the club and came only days after he scored the winning goal for the Serbian national team in a World Cup 2010 qualifier away at Romania.

He then scored his first goal for Chelsea against Liverpool in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final at Anfield. He later went on to score a second goal which, like his first, was a headed goal from a corner. These two goals proved to be decisive, as Chelsea left Anfield leading 3-1 on aggregate, and would go on to win the tie by two goals with an aggregate score of 7-5. Ivanović's two goals also earned him a regular starting place for the rest of the season in Guus Hiddink's side, as well as making him an instant fan favorite among Chelsea supporters. Ivanović would pick up his first medal with Chelsea in Hiddink's last game in charge, an FA Cup final victory over Everton at Wembley, though the Serbian was an unused substitute.


Ivanović made his first Wembley appearance for Chelsea the following season in the Community Shield against Premier League winners Manchester United. He was substituted at half time for Jose Bosingwa and Chelsea went on to win 4-1 on penalties. Ivanović made his first Premier League appearance of the season against Sunderland, which Chelsea went on to win 3-1. Ivanović then appeared in the Champions League against FC Porto in the absence of first-choice right back Bosingwa. A month later the Portuguese defender would pick up an injury that would ultimately rule him out for the rest of the season, allowing Ivanović to make the right back position his own. Despite a knee ligament injury keeping Ivanović out towards the end of the season, with Paulo Ferreira deputising, he returned for the successful title run-in and played in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth, to help Chelsea secure the double for the first time in the club's history.


Ivanović appeared as a substitute for the opening Premier League match of the 2010-11 season against West Bromwich Albion, replacing Paulo Ferreira. He started the following match but was himself substituted before a back injury kept him out of the squad to face Stoke City. Ivanović was subsequently employed at centre back following injuries to Alex and John Terry, along with the return of José Bosingwa. He score his first goal of the season against Blackburn Rovers, heading home a late winner in a 2-1 victory, after Nicolas Anelka had equalised. Ivanović then scored two goals in the following game; a 4-1 win in the Champions League against Spartak Moscow, before scoring a consolation goal in a 3-1 loss to Arsenal in late December. Two more goals followed in the second half of what was a relatively disappointing season for the Blues – despite finishing second in the league – with the Serbian one of Chelsea's most consistent players.

On 10 February 2011, Ivanović signed a new contract with Chelsea, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2016. [1] After signing this new long-term deal, he said: "It is good news for me, it is a very big step for me in my career and I want to try to help Chelsea win a lot more trophies", adding "These things take a little time but my first vision was always to stay with Chelsea. There were not a lot of problems because I wanted to stay, the club wanted me to stay and I want to thank everyone who helped with the deal. I am very happy with that." Ivanović ended the season as one of three nominations for Chelsea Player of the Year, though the award was won by Petr Čech.

Scoring the crucial winning goal against Napoli in 2012.


Ivanović made over 40 appearances for the third consecutive season in 2011-12, and again contributed goals. He was named as a substitute for the first two matches of the season, with new manager André Villas-Boas evidently preferring his countryman José Bosingwa at right back, but with David Luiz suffering a knee injury he was selected at centre back for the home match against Norwich City and was a regular in that position for the remainder of the year, with Alex having fallen out of favour.

Following Villas-Boas' departure in early March, Ivanović scored a crucial goal in the 2nd leg of a Champions League tie against Napoli, finishing from close range at the end of the first half of extra time; the goal proving enough to send Chelsea into the quarter finals. He also scored a brace in a league match at Aston Villa, the third time that he had scored twice in a game for Chelsea. He also scored in the next league game; a last minute winner at home against Wigan Athletic as Chelsea sought to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the following season's Champions League via league placement.

Ivanović then put in two battling displays in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, playing the majority of the 2nd leg along side José Bosingwa in central defence after Gary Cahill had limped off with a hamstring injury and John Terry had been sent off in the first half. Unfortunately the Serbian defender would miss the final having received a booking in that match, but his contribution in helping Chelsea reach the final and his performances throughout the season were acknowledged by the fans in voting him into the final three candidates for Player of the Year, with the prize eventually going to Juan Mata.


Ivanović received his first cap on 8 June 2005 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada when Serbia and Montenegro played a friendly against Italy. The game finished 1–1 and he came on as a 77th minute sub for his then club teammate Marko Baša. Ivanović scored his first international goal on 12 September 2007 against Portugal in a Euro 2008 qualifier in Lisbon. The goal was of importance because Serbia were losing 1–0 until the 88th minute, when Ivanović scored to secure a 1-1 draw.

Despite not having a regular spot at his club side Chelsea at the time, Ivanović continued being the automatic starting choice for Serbia at the start of World Cup 2010 qualifiers under new head coach Radomir Antić. Ivanović went on to score three goals in Serbia's successful World Cup 2010 qualification campaign.


See also: List of Branislav Ivanović goals
Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2007-08 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008-09 16 0 4 0 2 0 4 2 0 0 26 2
2009-10 28 1 3 0 3 0 6 0 1 0 41 1
2010-11 34 4 3 0 0 0 10 2 1 0 48 6
2011-12 29 3 5 0 1 0 10 2 0 0 45 5
2012-13 34 5 6 1 3 1 12 1 4 0 59 8
2013-14 36 3 2 0 0 0 11 0 1 0 50 3
2014-15 38 4 0 0 4 1 7 1 0 0 49 6
2015-16 33 2 4 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 43 2
2016-17 13 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 1
Total 261 22 29 2 15 2 64 8 8 0 377 34

Correct as of 31 January 2017

Career honours


Locomotiv Moscow

Premier League:

FA Cup:

League Cup:

UEFA Champions League:

UEFA Europa League:

FA Community Shield:


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