Ivanovic: I did not realise I would miss Champions League final
The defender has admitted that he initially did not know he was "in the danger zone" and would miss the showpiece due to his booking, but insists the team comes first
By Oliver Platt
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has admitted that he was initially unaware that his yellow card in the second leg of his side's Champions League semi-final tie against Barcelona would rule him out of the final.
Ivanovic collected a yellow card for dissent after a penalty was awarded against the Blues in the second half, but appeared confused when told he would miss the final in a televised interview after the match.
The defender refused to dwell on his suspension, however, and insisted that the team's progress was the most important thing.
"I didn't expect him to book me for that and I didn't know I was in the danger zone," Ivanovic told reporters.
"The Champions League and football is like life. You cannot look back. You have to look forward.
"I feel happy because the team goes to the final. We deserved it at the end of the day, with some luck."
The Chelsea squad will face Bayern Munich, who defeated Real Madrid on penalties on Wednesday, fully believing they can emerge victorious, Ivanovic insisted.
The Serbia international also felt the Blues deserved to beat Barcelona having lost both John Terry, who was sent off, and Gary Cahill, who was substituted due to injury, during the first half.
"I think we have great players and a good squad," Ivanovic reiterated. "That's why we are in the final and we have to play like a group, and we have to believe. Not a lot of guys believe in us, but we believe."
"With a little bit of luck, we did some great defending. We lost two central defenders but I think we did a great, great defending job and we deserved it."
The 28-year-old went on to hail the turnaround instigated by Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, who replaced Andre Villas-Boas as manager in March.
Ivanovic explained that the Italian's trust in the players had gone a long way to changing the mood around the club.
"He's changed everything," Ivanovic continued. "He gave us support, he gave us trust, and I think he's great. We have a great relationship and the results are good for us.
"At the moment, we don't want to look forward too much. We are not finished yet, we are not safe in the league for the Champions League place.
"We want this still, we are in the final of the FA Cup. So, there are a lot of things to do. We've got a big squad and we'll try to do everything."
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