Ivanovic: Benfica goal no match for missing Munich

Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic says he would gladly swap scoring the last-minute winner in the 2013 Europa League Final for playing in the Champions League final in Munich 12 months earlier.

The Serbian defender played a key role in the Blues’ maiden European Cup triumph, netting the decisive extra-time goal in the last 16 second leg against Napoli as the west Londoners fought back from a 3-1 defeat in Italy.

However, a booking in the famous semi-final second leg draw in Barcelona meant he missed out on the chance to beat Bayern Munich in their own back yard.

Lady Luck smiled on the marauding right-back a year later, though. Ivanovic headed home an injury-time corner to snatch the Europa League trophy away from Benfica, after the Champions League holders had been eliminated at the group stage. But he does not consider his late Amsterdam heroics a consolation prize.

Asked in an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo whether his dramatic winner went any way to making up for being banned at the Allianz Arena, he said: “No."

“The Champions League is the Champions League and I would always swap the winning goal for being on the pitch in Munich, no matter if I was part of the team that won the Champions League. I was glad that we won the Europa League, but they are two different competitions.”

FFT100 Read the full interview with Branislav Ivanovic here and find out where the Chelsea stopper places in FFT’s Best 100 Players in the World