Monday 22 January 2018

John Terry pays heartfelt tribute to 'unbelievable' Branislav Ivanovic following Chelsea exit

Branislav Ivanovic, left, played alongside John Terry throughout his Stamford Bridge. Getty
Branislav Ivanovic, left, played alongside John Terry throughout his Stamford Bridge. Getty

Mark Critchley

John Terry has paid tribute to his long-time Chelsea team-mate Branislav Ivanovic following the Serbian’s move to Zenit St Petersburg.

The Serbia international has joined Zenit, the Russian Premier League side, for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half year contract.

After arriving at Stamford Bridge in January 2008, Ivanovic went on to establish himself as an elite-level right-back and made 377 appearances for the west London club.

Ivanovic won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, three FA Cups and three League Cups during his time at Chelsea.

The former Lokomotiv Moscow defender also lifted the Europa League after scoring a stoppage time winner for Chelsea in the 2013 final against Benfica.

Terry, who played alongside Ivanovic throughout the Serbian’s time at Chelsea, wrote on his Instagram account: “Absolutely gutted to see Brana leave @chelseafc.

“An unbelievable defender for us over the years and a great and big character and presence in the dressing room. Good luck mate. Won everything at Chelsea and a proper legend.”

Ivanovic crowned his time at Chelsea with a goal in what would be his final appearance, Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup fourth round win over neighbours Brentford.

The 32-year-old right-back began the season as a regular in Antonio Conte’s side but lost his starting place following Chelsea’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation.

Ivanovic’s last Premier League start for the club came in September’s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal. He was subsequently limited to just seven further league appearances, all from the bench

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