Branislav Ivanovic: The Rise Of A Chelsea Hero
Writer Rayyan Doubbous looks back at the career of Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic and tells us how he’s become a Chelsea legend at Stamford Bridge.
Writer Rayyan Doubbous looks back at the career of Branislav Ivanovic at Chelsea and tells us how he’s become a Blues legend.
Last season, Branislav Ivanovic featured in 59 games for the Blues and he was named Man of the Match in the Europa League Final after heroically heading the ball into Benfica’s net in injury time: bringing home the title.
The 29-year-old is now considered as a prominent figure for the west London club. The Serbian international has worked really hard to become the player he is today, and his efforts have certainly paid off.
Chelsea acquired the Serbian’s services in January 2008, but it wasn’t until September that Ivanovic earned his first Chelsea start, which was against Portsmouth in the League Cup. In the 2008/2009 season, the former Lokomotiv player struggled to secure a place in Chelsea’s defense. During the winter transfer window, he was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge but such transfer never materialized.
In the same season, Chelsea were in poor form which led to the removal of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and the appointment of Guus Hiddink. Despite the managerial change, Ivanovic was again constantly omitted from the Chelsea side and by then he was completely out of the first team picture.
The tables turned in Ivanovic’s spell at Stamford Bridge on the 8th of April in 2009 when Chelsea visited Anfield to face Liverpool in the Champions League quarter finals. In that match, not only did Ivanovic flourish in his defensive role but he was also the main attacking threat, scoring two goals to lead Chelsea to a 3-1 win over the Merseyside club.
Ivanovic’s two goals also earned him a regular starting place for the time being in Guus Hiddink’s side, as well as making him an instant fan favorite among Chelsea supporters with the nickname Branislav ‘two goal’ Ivanovic announced before games.
In the 2009/2010 season, Branislav Ivanovic took advantage of Jose Bosingwa’s season-ending knee injury in October and he became an automatic choice in Chelsea’s defense. Since then, he’s gone on to enjoy three successful seasons with the Blues; clocking up more than 40 appearances in each year.
In his spell at Chelsea, Ivanovic has enjoyed lifting the Champions League and Europa League trophies. He also helped Chelsea complete the English double in 2010. He was named Serbian Player of the Year in 2012 and he was also given the captain’s armband for his national team following Nemanja Vidic’s retirement.
Ivanovic has worked so hard to make a name for himself. He succeeded on doing so, and today he is a Chelsea hero with more than 200 appearances. He has enjoyed a marvelous spell at Stamford Bridge and he is looking to impress once more next season.