Former Arsenal legend has revealed which Chelsea defender he ranks as the best in Europe…
Former Arsenal midfielder has declared Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic the best defender in Europe after the Serbian’s match winning performance against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semi-final.
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Ivanovic scored the only goal of the second leg at Stamford Bridge as the Blues advanced to Wembley 2-1 on aggregate. It’s not the first time he’s netted a crucial goal for his club either, having grabbed the winner in the 2013 Europa League final.
“For me, Chelsea’s best player is Branislav Ivanovic,” Pires told Sky Sports. “He’s the best defender in the UK and maybe even in Europe.
“I don’t understand why nobody talks about him. It’s strange because I think he’s complete. He’s got everything. He’s very strong, he’s got a good jump, he’s fast and he’s got good technique. For me, he is perfect for a defender. He’s a giant.”
Pires also praised former Arsenal teammate Cesc Fabregas, who despite limping off during last night’s game with Liverpool, has enjoyed a spectacular start to his Chelsea career.
“I remember when I first saw Cesc play I said, ‘wow I think he’s got a good future’, so it hasn’t come as a surprise to me because Cesc is a very good player,” Pires said.
“He played very well for Arsenal. He continued to learn when he went back to play Spanish football at Barcelona and now of course he has done very well this season at Chelsea.
“He’s still young but he’s brought lot of experience to Chelsea after playing at Arsenal and with the national side. He’s a very good of point of reference for Chelsea and there seems to be a perfect relationship between him and Diego Costa.
“I like his style of football because he keeps it simple. He’s very comfortable on the ball. I like the style of players like Fabregas, (Andres) Iniesta or in my time, (Dennis) Bergkamp.”