With confirmation of Branislav Ivanovic’s Chelsea departure finally coming yesterday, the Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern have spent the last few hours talking about how good he was for the Blues…
Signed in 2009, Ivanovic wasn’t originally a starter at Stamford Bridge – but through pure force of will and determination, the Serbian quickly established a foothold within the Chelsea first team.
Playing across the defence, from centre-back to left-back to right-back, Ivanovic honed his craft and began to really develop as a footballer. By 2010, Ivanovic was arguably one of Europe’s best – and he was undoubtedly one of Chelsea’s most important players.
A leader on the field, Ivanovic, alongside John Terry, became the driving force of the Chelsea defence – with his stellar defensive displays contributing to a near unstoppable Chelsea back line.
It wasn’t just his defensive quality that helped Ivanovic make a name for himself at Stamford Bridge. Going forward, Ivanovic was often impossible to deal with – scoring 34 goals during his Chelsea career – and ensuring that Chelsea always maintained a threat down the right-hand side.
Undoubtedly, his finest moment came in 2012, with the defender scoring the winner against Napoli as Chelsea came back from the dead against the Italian outfit – and whilst he missed the final through suspension – the Serbian deserved every bit of the attention that he received for his incredible performances throughout that campaign. He would then go on to make up for his absence in the final, by scoring the winner a year later as Chelsea won the Europa League.
On the pitch, Ivanovic was a warrior and a serial winner – and, by all accounts, off it – he was vital too. He became more than just a player, and he will forever go down as a Chelsea legend amongst the Blues’ faithful.
Chelsea fans – share your memories of Ivanovic below…
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