Ivanov appeared 59 times for the Soviet Union, scoring 26 goals. That number is third in national history behind Oleg Blokhin and Oleg Protasov. One of finest Russian players, Ivanov was noted for his pace, dribbling quality and technical ability.
Ivanov's four goals in the 1962 World Cup tied five other players for the lead, and he also scored two in the 1958 edition. He spent most of his club career with Torpedo Moscow, scoring 124 goals in 286 appearances in the Soviet Championship, 9th all-time.