Branislav Ivanovic is a former Chelsea football player who was recognised as one of the Premier League’s best defenders during his time at the club. He signed for Chelsea from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008 and made his Premier League debut at the start of the following season. Ivanovic introduced himself to the Chelsea faithful in a Champions League Quarter final against Liverpool, where he scored two headed goals that helped Chelsea on their way to a 3-1 victory at Anfield. He was nicknamed “two goal” because of his exploits that night.
In the 2009/10 season, Ivanovic helped The Blues to the Premier league and FA Cup double, featuring in the PFA team of the year for his consistent performances. The following season, he was a consistent figure in the team from right back and centre back, although Chelsea failed to regain the title. In the 2011/12 season, Ivanovic helped Chelsea progress to the Champions League Quarter Finals after scoring a thunderous extra-time goal against Napoli. He also played an outstanding defensive performance against Barcelona, helping Chelsea beat them 3-2 on aggregate after a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou.
Despite this, Ivanovic was booked and therefore suspended for the final, something he only found out when he was told by Geoff Shreeves in an interview after the game. Ivanovic got over the disappointment by helping Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 to lift the 2012 FA Cup at Wembley. He received a Champions League winners medal after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena to win their first European Cup.
In the 2012/13 season, Ivanovic was infamously bitten on the arm by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during a 2-2 draw at Anfield in April. Suarez received a 10 match ban for the incident. The Serbian made his own mark on Chelsea’s European history in the 2013 Europa League final against Benfica. With the scores locked at 1-1, Ivanovic looped an injury time header into the top corner to win the cup for The Blues, the first time they had won the trophy.
The 2013/14 season saw Jose Mourinho return to Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea failed to bring home any silverware, finishing four points off of eventual champions Manchester City and losing to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final. Silverware returned to the West London club the following season, including a winning goal for Ivanovic in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-0 in the final for Mourinho’s first trophy of his second spell, and soon after won the Premier League, their first for five years.
The arrival of Antonio Conte saw Ivanovic’s role limited, as the Italian favoured Victor Moses on the right of defence. His last game for the club came against Brentford in January 2017, which saw him score and win a penalty on what was a fitting farewell. Ivanovic returned to Russia, joining Zenit Saint Petersburg, where he stayed for three-and-a-half years and was appointed club captain. He returned to the Premier League with West Brom for the 2020/21 season but could not survive relegation.
Ivanovic retired soon after the end of his contract with The Baggies. It is not known what he is currently doing, but he has been seen at UEFA Champions League draws, where he has helped with the process on stage. He has also appeared in a viral video where he shows off his private trophy room, which includes replicas of all the trophies he won during his stellar career.
According to Taddlr, Ivanovic is worth in excess of £20million. During his time at Chelsea, he is thought to have earned over £100,000 a week. Branislav Ivanovic will always be remembered as one of Chelsea’s greatest defenders and a key figure in their success during his time at Stamford Bridge.