Branislav Ivanovic reveals frustration of Champions League final suspension


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The Independent Football

Branislav Ivanovic felt powerless watching from the sidelines as Chelsea went on to win the Champions League final in dramatic fashion.

Ivanovic was suspended for the clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday night after picking up a yellow card in the semi-final second-leg clash with Barcelona.

And the Serbian admits it was tough watching his team-mates battle to a penalty shoot-out win after the match finished 1-1 after extra time.

"Many times it is said that some matches are harder to watch than play, and I would say that the Champions League final is at the top of the list," Ivanovic told Belgrade newspaper Sportski Zurnal.

"I was so nervous that it was hard to watch. The hardest was in extra time and during penalties.

"If you play, you do your job. If you sit in the stadium, you are powerless. You can just watch what is going on, you can't help your team.

"But in the end everything was superb so I was as happy as a child."

Ivanovic paid tribute to his team-mates, adding: "We won because we believed in ourselves. Even when Bayern scored, we were sure that we could do it.

"This victory is the biggest one in my life. As a footballer you live for something like that.

"We completely deserved it and I will remember these pictures for my whole life."

The aftermath of that famous win has been overshadowed, however, by the uncertainty surrounding interim boss Roberto Di Matteo and striker Didier Drogba.

Di Matteo has yet to be confirmed as the full-time replacement for Andre Villas-Boas despite leading the Blues to a Champions League and FA Cup double while Drogba is out of contract next month and has not publicly announced whether he intends to stay at Stamford Bridge or accept a lucrative move to China.

Elsewhere, Chelsea also need to placate striker Fernando Torres, who hit out at his treatment last season, as well as look to secure their main transfer targets, said to include Lille playmaker Eden Hazard and Sao Paulo's Lucas Moura.

There could also yet be a return to the club for former striker Andriy Shevchenko. The 35-year-old is out to embark on a coaching career when he finally retires, which is likely to be after Ukraine host the European Championships this summer.