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Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic signs for Zenit St Petersburg

Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 01:02

Defender Branislav Ivanovic elects to leave Chelsea for Russia before his contract expires

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AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (MAY 15, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. CHELSEA'S MAN OF THE MATCH BRANISLAV IVANOVIC WITH HIS EUROPA LEAGUE WINNER'S MEDAL 2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN-OF-THE MATCH CHELSEA, CENTRAL DEFENDER BRANISLAV IVANOVIC SAYING "I think this is one of the best moments in my career, to score in the European final the winning goal, the dream of every player, and I think all the team and all the staff and supporters and all the club deserve this trophy, and we are amazing happy about this." BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE - JUNE 6, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 3. VARIOUS OF SERBIAN NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM CAPTAIN, BRANISLAV IVANOVIC (GREEN SHOES), DURING TRAINING STORY: Zenit St Petersburg have signed versatile Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on a 2-1/2 year deal, the Russian club announced on Wednesday (February 1). Zenit said the Serbia captain, who played for Lokomotiv Moscow before joining current Premier League leaders Chelsea in 2008, had the option of extending his contract for another year. "I had a very big hope to come back to Russia and to play here. I am motivated and I think that I can play for many more seasons at the top level," he told Zenit's website (en.fc-zenit.ru) The 32-year-old won two Premier League titles and the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012. In 2013 he won the Europa League title for Chelsea with a stoppage-time winning goal to beat Benfica in the final 2-1, giving the London club its second successive European title. Ivanovic was also voted man-of-the-match for that victory. "I think this is one of the best moments in my career, to score in the European final the winning goal, the dream of every player, and I think all the team and all the staff and supporters and all the club deserve this trophy, and we are amazing happy about this," said the Serb, who is out of contract at Chelsea at the end of the season. Ivanovic was quoted as saying he was "happy just to play". "I am happy in (the) centre or on the right (of defence). That's probably a question for the manager but I am happy to play in any position," he said.

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Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic signs for Zenit St Petersburg

Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 01:02