Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has hailed his side’s defence as one of the best in world football, saying that the Blues’ defence is one of the reasons behind their continued success on the pitch.
Speaking on his nomination for the FIFPro World XI alongside Chelsea team-mates David Luiz, Ashley Cole and club captain John Terry, he also added that Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho is fortunate to have one of the world’s finest back-lines in the beautiful game.
“I always remember the days when I arrived here and I know how good defensively my team-mates were in that moment and they are still very strong,” said the Serbian full-back.
“I think we have one of the best defensive lines in the world now with John Terry, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta. I like to talk about the guys who I play with because I get to see how good they are everyday.”
The defender was however quick to add a modest touch to his tone, paying homage to the defensive awareness and contribution of the more offensive players in the Blues’ set-up, saying that it is their hard work as well that makes the Stamford Bridge outfit so hard to break down.
“Our defence is one of the reasons why we have won trophies and so we are happy about this because we all play as a team and all of us make Chelsea a hard team to score against, not just the defenders.”
The Blues’ defensive line-up have featured consistently on the nominees’ shortlist for the FIFPro World XI over the years, with John Terry and Ashley Cole being ever-presents since the award’s inception in 2005.
“Mr. Chelsea” John Terry made the FIFPro World XI every year between 2005 and 2009, and he remains Chelsea’s last defender ever to appear in the World XI.
Chelsea shot-stopper Petr Cech has also been nominated every year except 2009 and 2011, while centre-back David Luiz has been on the shortlist for the last three consecutive years. Ivanovic himself has been nominated for the last two years, and he says he is just happy to appear on the shortlist.
“Personally I am so happy and glad to be included. Of course, when you win trophies you’d expect as many Chelsea players as possible to be included because we all deserve it and we won as a team. I know all our players are good enough and if you ask my opinion, I would put all of our team in it!”
Ivanovic also discussed the incredibly competitive 2013/2014 Premier League campaign, conceding that up to five teams could be in the hunt for the coveted league title this year.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and it is so competitive because of the great players and because of the fans in the stadium… four or five teams can win the title and it is very exciting.”
“I think both Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Liverpool are all doing well this year so you have a lot of good teams but we have to just focus on ourselves. It’s going to be very difficult and it will be an interesting season.”
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