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Sunday, December 16, 2012
Ivanovic ready to avenge suspension

ESPN staff

Branislav Ivanovic has admitted he will be on a mission to avenge his absence from last season's Champions League final when Chelsea take on Corinthians in the Club World Cup decider on Sunday.

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Ivanovic, 28, was one of four players - including John Terry, Raul Meireles and Ramires - suspended for Chelsea's penalty shootout win over Bayern after receiving a yellow card in the semi-final against Barcelona.

The Serbia international believes Sunday's match is a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the players who helped the Blues to European glory, insisting he will be playing for Terry and midfielder Romeu who failed to travel to Japan through injury.

"This is my chance," he said. "This is very, very important for all of us and this win would also be for the guys who can't be with us because of injury, like JT, Romeu, and guys like Didier who left the club in June.

"If we win, we win for all of us - every part of the club and the history - and I hope we are going to be successful. I can be a little bit more happy here than before when I couldn't help the team like the other players who didn't play.

"After the Barcelona game [in last season's semi-final] until the Champions League final, there was a lot of things going through my head. After the final, I quickly forgot this period from the semi-final to the final."

Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir was responsible for suspending Ivanovic and he will take charge of the final in Japan, although the 28-year-old harbours no ill feelings for the decision.

Chelsea's players don't need a reminder of how significant victory against Corinthians can be in getting their season back on track, but Ivanovic has urged his team-mates to redeem themselves after a premature exit from this season's Champions League.

"We are here, everybody, to make history, especially in this moment when we have huge motivation after being eliminated from the Champions League," Ivanovic said. "For us, this is maybe the key game for this generation. We know how we have to play the final and we know that it's going to be tough. So, we have to be ready.

"I think this is one of the biggest chances we have in our lives, what we have at the moment. So we have to try to do everything to take it. We know why we came all the way here."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.




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