Branislav Ivanovic has told our followers of his pride in being nominated for Chelsea’s Player of the Year award three times in recent seasons.
The defender has been shortlisted in each of the previous three campaigns, and he explained how much this felt when he became the latest player to answer fans’ questions on Twitter at the weekend.
‘This is a very big thing for me because I know in the squad we have big players and this means I played all the season consistently well. For me this is one of the most important things and I am very happy about this,’ Ivanovic told Grace Reilly, adding that he chose the squad number 2 after ‘It was free when I arrived and I wore it in the Serbia U21 team, and all my career was between 2 and 6 and when I saw it was free I was so happy, and I hope I never change.’
It is almost five years since Ivanovic swapped Lokomotiv Moscow for west London, and he has since developed into one of the Barclays Premier League’s most accomplished defenders. He explained to Luara Arrau what sacrifices he has made.
‘Every kid that dreams about the trophies and playing in a big team is the same, a lot of hard work and a lot of different things that you cannot go to or do,’ he said. ‘All of us have worked very hard and we are very happy because we are doing something we like, which is very important in life.’
During his time in England, he has faced some of the world’s top strikers, and Imtinan Nadhim asked who was the most troublesome.
‘We have a lot of great strikers and a lot of good players in England, there is a different types, Rooney is one who is always difficult to play against,’ Ivanovic said.
‘In every team the strikers are the best players and you have to be ready and focused on that, and also I was happy always to play with the strikers, with Didier and Fernando, they are two great strikers. Against Fernando I played but I am happy I have never played against Didier.’
Ivanovic also discussed how he feels about David Luiz being tested in midfield against Monterrey last week.
‘He did well and this one of the good sides of David as a player, who can play two or three positions and he is doing well in the position,’ he told Safiyyah Moosa. ‘He is intelligent and has creativity for this position and is defensive as well.’
Among other things, he also told us that Dragan Stojkovic was his favourite player as a youngster, he still speaks regularly with Andriy Shevchenko, and that Marko Marin is his best friend at the club right now.
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