A native of Serbia, Ivanovic was a hugely popular and successful player with English Premier League side Chelsea. With over a hundred appearances for his nation in international matches, we take a look at some of the top quotes on Branislav Ivanovic.
A versatile defender with the knack for scoring goals, Ivanovic won nine major trophies whilst at Stamford Bridge in ten seasons.
Starting out in his native country, Branislav signed for the London club in 2008, and apart from scoring 34 goals in 377 games, he triumphed in the League three times, the Champions League once, the FA Cup three times, and the Europa League once.
With 105 caps, he is Serbia’s top appearance maker in international matches, and was selected for two World Cups, as well as captain for six years, and was in the Under-21 team that came runners-up in the European Championship.
Described as a ‘tank’ at one time, Ivanovic was a tall and strong defender, capable of being thrust into the role of a forward when needed due to his scoring abilities.
Twice named Serbian player of the year, he was recently with Premier League team West Bromwich Albion until 2021. Ivanovic was well remembered for having his arm bitten by Luis Suarez during a game in 2013. A career total has seen him compete in nearly 700 matches so far.
“If you think Nemanja Vidic is good, you’re in for a treat with Branislav. He’s even better.”
Zoran Krneta (player’s agent)
“With that magic left foot, I couldn’t believe that [Ivanovic] would score such a goal with the left foot.”
Jose Mourinho (Chelsea manager)
“…..Ivanovic is so valuable. There’s not another player in the league who can run a whole wing by himself, act like an extra center back on set pieces, and, in a pinch, become a better defensive midfielder than the guy who was starting.”
Mike L. Goodman (Grantland sports writer)
“He was a tank, he was so powerful and so strong, massive…..He must be close (as being one of Chelsea’s best ever right-backs)…..he was so hard to play against…..Powerful, quick, good in the air…..”
Darren Bent (former Tottenham Hotspur striker)
“He’s a great addition for us…..He ticks all the boxes for us…..He’s done everything in his career – it’s been magnificent…..He adds quality and experience on the pitch and off the pitch…..So it is not only him, it is him plus the influence he will have on not just defenders but the whole team around him. That’s why we targeted him as one of our prime targets. It’s a great signing for us.”
Slaven Bilic (West Bromwich Albion manager)
“Absolutely gutted to see Brana leave Chelsea…..An unbelievable defender for us over the years and a great and big character and presence in the dressing room…..Won everything at Chelsea and a proper legend.”
John Terry (former Chelsea player)
“I have no doubts that he is my best right-back…..”
“Ivanovic’s defensive versatility allowed Chelsea to change their approach and dominate the game. He has earned lots of attention for his attacking prowess, and deservedly so, but it’s really his malleability that makes him a perfect fit for Mourinho.”
Mike L. Goodman
“He is a top professional, fit, naturally a strong guy. So I don’t see any problems with his fitness, especially when we are playing only once a week.”
“Is he one of the club’s best signings? I think so…..he made a fantastic contribution for this club. He is a competitive animal with a big heart…..He is a great guy; what he is doing for us is unbelievable.”
“Ivanovic is not a big shouter but the short commands he does, that’s what I like as a manager because I want what we do in training executed by my key players…..is part of Ivanovic’s job to score goals and he does it very well. He has done it already many times and he is courageous. You have to be well equipped in the timing and execution which he is perfect at doing.”
Guus Hiddink (Chelsea manager)
“I don’t have to talk about him, god willing he’s going to break the record…..He’s achieved as a footballer quite a lot. He’s demonstrated his quality in clubs across Europe and has many titles to his name. He’s another extra quality for us and a motivation to give more.”
Mladen Krstajic (Serbia coach)
“You only have to look at him to see what a beast he is, he goes under the radar a bit because he just does his job, but what a player.”