Who is Chelsea legend Branislav Ivanovic?
Branislav Ivanovic, who was born on 22 February 1984, is a Serbian professional footballer who plays as a defender. Former Serbia international spent most of his career in the Premier League club, Chelsea. Branislav began his career with hometown team Srem.
In winter 2004, Ivanovic transferred to the top division club Beograd. Two years later, Branislav moved to Russia to play for Lokomotiv Moscow in the Premier League, where the defender would spend two campaigns, winning his first title, the 2007 Russian Cup.
In winter 2008, the Serbian defender was signed by the English club Chelsea for a £9m fee. Ivanovic won 9 major titles with the London club, including 3 Premier League trophies, 3 FA Cups, League Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.
Overall, Branislav played 377 matches and scored 34 goals, making him one of just five foreign footballers to appear in over 300 games for the Blues and putting him behind just John Terry in terms of goals scored by a defender for the London club.
Additionally, Branislav was twice named in the PFA Team of the Year, according to a Besoccer. Ivanovic returned to Russia in winter 2017, joining Zenit on a free transfer.
Branislav Ivanovic’s international career
Branislav’s U21 debut took place with Macedonia in Ohrid in December 2003 in a game that Serbia and Montenegro ended up winning 4–1. Ivanovic scored his first goal just two days later with the same team in a 7–0 rout.
Branislav took part in the 2006 Under-21 Championships in Portugal, where the defender played 4 games and scored just one goal for Serbia and Montenegro.
The Serbian defender was given the captain’s armband during this time and continued to captain independent Serbia to the 2007 Under-21 Championships final, where they lost to the host, the Netherlands.
In total, Ivanovic featured in 38 games for the U21 side, scoring four goals. Branislav was first capped for the national team in summer 2005 and has since become Serbia’s most capped footballer earning over 100 caps and scoring 13 goals.
Ivanovic represented the national team at their first international competition as an independent country, the 2010 Mundial in South Africa, and was appointed captain of Serbia in 2012.
Branislav was captain until just before the 2018 Mundial, where the defender also represented Serbia. In that tournament, Ivanovic became the most capped footballer in the history of the national team, with 105 games.