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 By Kevin Palmer

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic 'proud' to play 300th game for club

Branislav Ivanovic has spoken of his pride after he joined a select group of overseas players to have played 300 games for Chelsea last weekend.

Ivanovic, 30, has been a stalwart in the Blues lineup since making his breakthrough during the 2008-09 season, with Champions League, Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup success having since followed.

The Serbia international could add to his trophy collection next month after his semifinal goal against Liverpool secured Chelsea's place in the Capital One Cup final, where they will face Tottenham at Wembley.

Whether or not the Blues prove to be victorious, Ivanovic is at least content with his place alongside an elite band of players -- which also includes Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel and Gianfranco Zola -- following his appearance in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Saturday.

"I am very proud, because you have to prove yourself again and again. I am very proud to be part of that group of players to reach 300 [games]," Ivanovic told Chelsea's official website. "To be part of that group with big names who gave a lot for this club, I am very proud.

It was Branislav Ivanovic who struck for Chelsea's winner in last February's win at Manchester City.
Branislav Ivanovic has enjoyed plenty of success during his time at Chelsea.

"Gianfranco [Zola] is an idol of Chelsea supporters. To be next to him is an amazing feeling. Obi as well has a lot of great, amazing games. Unfortunately he is injured at the moment but he will give a lot this season until the end. He has reached 300, it's amazing and we know how hard it is.

"Didier is one of the greatest and best players in our squad. At the moment he is very important for us as a person. He gives a lot of things for the club, and I am proud to be part of the team in which Didier played.

"Now I am repeating myself, but Petr Cech is top of the list. He is an example of how someone has to be in professional football. He is a top-class man and a top-class goalkeeper. There are a lot of things you can learn from Petr Cech."

Cech needs 10 more appearances to become the first overseas player to play 500 games for Chelsea, although there remains speculation that he will leave the club in the summer after losing his place to Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea's all-time appearance list for overseas players:

1. Petr Cech -- 490

2. Didier Drogba -- 368

3. John Obi Mikel -- 333

4. Gianfranco Zola -- 312

5. Branislav Ivanovic -- 300

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