Born in Yugoslavia in 1960, Milan Ivanovic quickly displayed an affinity for soccer. As a youngster he worked his way through local clubs before joining leading Yugoslavian club Red Star Belgrade. He migrated to Australia in 1989 and joined Adelaide City in the NSL as a sweeper. A quiet, efficient and thinking player, Ivanovic soon established himself and made his international debut for Australia against Czechoslavakia in January 1991 in Melbourne. In 1991 he was elected NSL Player of the Year and was in the Adelaide NSL winning teams in 1992 and 1994. He was played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup campaigns and the 1998 Confederations Cup. In his final on-field appearance in February 1998, Ivanovic was named Australian captain against Japan. He made 71 appearances for Australia, including 59 A internationals.