Branislav Ivanovic (born 22 February 1984) is a Serbian international footballer who currently plays for Chelsea F.C.
On 15 January 2008, Chelsea announced that they had agreed a deal of around £9,000,000 with Lokomotiv Moscow for Ivanovic.
Branislav's start to life as a Chelsea player was slow, it took him eight months to gain the necessary match fitness to play in the Carling Cup away at Portsmouth, before a lengthier spell in the heart of defence alongside John Terry after injury to Ricardo Carvalho and Alex.
Settled in London and his English steadily improving, Ivanovic began to show his true capabilities, while also earning cult status among Chelsea fans for his Champions League double at Anfield in April 2009. Deployed at centre-half, Ivanovic went up for two corners and was almost ignored as the threat of Terry and Didier Drogba was deemed more dangerous by Liverpool, allowing him to ghost in and crash home two headers, all but booking Chelsea's place in that season's semi-finals. He kept his place for a run of games afterwards, marking Thierry Henry in the Camp Nou, and while at first struggling with the Frenchman's raw pace, he adapted and made a number of important blocks, interceptions and clearances.
Beginning that 2009-10 campaign as understudy to Jose Bosingwa at right-back, the Serb came in when the Portuguese suffered a season-ending knee injury in October, and never looked back, contributing a series of assured displays with his strong defensive work and powerful attacking play. The domestic title race was tight, and going all the way, so it was frustrating for the Serb to pick up a calf injury at Blackburn in March. It kept him out almost a month, returning as a half-time sub at Spurs after damage had already been done, and starting in the 7-0 bashing of Stoke.
His 41 appearances placed him as a frontrunner in voting for Chelsea's Player of the Year award, and although he eventually lost out to Drogba, he joined the Ivorian in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season.
During 2010-11, Ivanovic was an ever-present in the back four, his form rarely dipping below excellent as he earned a new five-and-a-half year deal, signed in early February that will keep him at the club until 2016. There were key goals too, like the late winner at Blackburn in October and a brace against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League group stages, yet his season will be remembered for his committed consistency on the back foot. Boasting one of football's most powerful physiques, he finished a runner-up in the end of season Player of the Year awards. The appointment of Andre Villas-Boas brought a more attacking philosophy to the side, which meant increased competition at right-back from the previously out of favour Bosingwa who was given the nod to start the season. Injury in the centre allowed the Serbian a route back into the team though, but clean sheets were proving hard to come by. To counter this, Villas-Boas shifted Branislav to right-back and recalled Alex for the trip to Blackburn in early November, securing a 1-0 win. The majority of the campaign saw him switched between right-back and centre-back, although a string of niggling injuries have kept him sidelined at intermittent periods. However, Ivanovic will be remembered for some time for his extra time winner against Napoli that sent the Blues through at the Italians' expense. March was a profitable month for the Serbian international in terms of goals; he also netted two in a 4-2 away win at Aston Villa. A booking in the semi-final of the Champions League sadly ruled the Serbian out of the Final, but he played the full 90 minutes of the FA Cup Final as the Blues beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley. The 2012-13 season began on a sour note when Ivanovic was dismissed during the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, but he made amends a week later, scoring Chelsea's first goal of the season against Wigan Athletic after only two minutes, while following it up three days later with the fourth goal in a 4-2 home win against Reading. With new-signing Cesar Azpilicueta now vying for the right-back slot alongside the Serbian, he netted his third goal of the season with a well-taken volley in the 4-1 win against Norwich City. Ivanovic was handed a one-match ban after seeing red during a 3-2 home defeat against Manchester United, subsequently sitting out the Capital One Cup victory against the same opponents only a few days later. On his return to the side for the 1-1 draw at Swansea, he played in the centre of defence alongside Gary Cahill in the absence of both John Terry and David Luiz, a move which paved the way for Cesar Azpilicueta to make his first league start for the club at right-back.
On 21 April 2013, Ivanovic was bitten on the arm by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, in a 2-2 draw at Anfield. After the match Ivanovic confirmed that he had forgiven Suarez and that he did not wish to press charges. Suarez was given a 10 match ban by the FA for violent conduct. On 15 May 2013, Ivanovic netted an injury time winner in the Europa League final.
On 21 August 2013, Ivanovic netted the winning goal against Aston Villa with his first goal under new manager Jose Mourinho.
- FA Cup: 3 (2009, 2010, 2012)
- Community Shield: 1 (2009)
- Premier League: 1 (2010)
- Champions League: 1 (2012)
- Europa League: 1 (2013)
- League Cup: 1 (2015)
- PFA Team of the Year: 2010
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Chelsea F.C. – current squad|
| 1. Caballero • 2. Rudiger • 3. Alonso • 4. Fabregas • 5. Zouma • 6. Rudiger • 7. Kante • 8. Barkley • 9. Morata •|
10. Hazard • 11. Pedro • 13. Courtois • 14. Loftus-Cheek • 15. Moses • 16. Kenedy • 17. Musonda • 21. Zappacosta • 22. Willian • 23. Batshuayi • 24. Cahill (C) • 27. Christensen • 28. Azpilicueta • 30. Luiz • 37. Eduardo