Fan View: Why Branislav Ivanovic Is Undeniably a True Chelsea Legend Despite His Decline

It’s a shame it all had to end this way. 

Branislav Ivanovic looks set to be another mainstay in the Chelsea squad hurried out the back door, without a whimper of a goodbye. 

Over the last few years, the Blues hierarchy have done very little to please their fan base in the handling of legends. Ashley Cole never got a farewell, Frank Lampard – the club’s all-time record goalscorer – was allowed to leave through the back door to Man City ?and John Terry was almost left out to dry on more than one occasion. 

Branislav Ivanovic unveiled as Chelsea Player

You might think it’s crazy mentioning the Serbian defender in the same breath as some of the greatest living men to ever wear a blue shirt, but think about it; maybe it’s not such a mad comparison.

Despite the fact no one can lay claim to dividing a fanbase as much as Ivanovic has done in recent years, there’s absolutely no denying Chelsea’s number two is a club legend.

Having joined without much fanfare from Lokomotiv Moscow in the winter of 2008, his first half season in west London would come and go without a single appearance under then boss Avram Grant. 

Signed as a centre-back, Ivanovic was thrust into the starting XI playing as a right-back, a position he eventually came to hold as his own for years to come. 

After finding his feet under interim boss Guus Hiddink, the Serb netted his first goal (followed swiftly by his second) on the greatest stage of them all, the Champions League. 

His brace at Anfield in the quarter finals earned him the moniker ‘Two-Goal Branislav Ivanovic’, and automatic cult hero status with the Blues fans. 

Liverpool v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League

His solid, domineering performances led him to be named in the PFA Team of the Year for 2009/10. 

The next year, he signed a new long-term deal with the club citing his ambition to win trophies as the key behind his decision. That he would certainly do. 

More important goals would follow the Serb around the globe, and his extra-time winner over Napoli in the historic 2011/12 Champions League campaign saw pandemonium erupt at Stamford Bridge, sealing an unforgettable comeback from 3-1 down to the Italian giants. 

His heroics in that campaign will not be forgotten long after he departs Stamford Bridge, but Ivanovic missed the final due to suspension, one of four Chelsea players to miss out. 

He found out in the harshest of ways possible, as Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves would attempt to break his heart on live TV by informing him of the suspension after the 2-2 draw with Barcelona, which saw Roberto Di Matteo’s side reach the final in Munich. 

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