Ivanovic joins Zenit St Petersburg | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper

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Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic, has joined Russian giants, Zenith St Petersburg.


The Serbian signed two-and-half-year deal with the Russian outfit.

Upon his departure, Ivanovic was Chelsea’s assistant captain and second longest serving player behind John Terry.

He scored a goal and won a penalty as a second-half substitute in Chelsea’s 4-0 FA Cup victory over Brentford on Saturday.

The 32-year-old did not travel with the Blues on Tuesday in the 1-1 draw at Anfield was instead spotted at St Petersburg airport, where he was quoted as telling local reporters that he is “100 percent ready to play” for Zenit.

Ivanovic, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2009, told Zenit’s official website, “I can say I’m very happy to come here, and to be at a big club like Zenit. I hope together we’ll have success.

“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. I can say that I am excited to be here and everything went smoothly!”

When asked of his favourite position at the back, he said, “I am happy just to play. I am happy in centre or on the right. That’s probably a question for the manager but I am happy to play in any position.”

Ivanovic made 377 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, wining every major domestic and European trophy, as well as scoring the winning goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Benfica in the 2013 Europa League final.

He fell out of Chelsea’s first eleven when Italian gaffer Antonio Conte decided to switch to a 3-4-3 system in September and the defender was unlikely to be offered an extension to his contract, which was due to expire in June.

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