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Lovren, whose nation are into the semi-finals for the first time since 1998, said Croatia could play with freedom.

He had been irritated on the eve of the game by references to his substitution after 31 minutes of a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur back in October, when two...

It's the smallest country to reach the World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, and now, Croatia faces its biggest challenge, will the team finally be able to win the final against France and lift the World Cup trophy for the first time ever.

"This is something historical for us", said Lovren.

I showed why I took Liverpool to the final of the Champions League and now with the national team, and now I'm in the World Cup final. "People should recognise that I am also one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense". We will never forget this.

"We will never forget this". We have come back after 20 years to the semis and we deserve it.


Lovren says he remembers his mum took him and they went to the basement and can't remember how long they sat there. Before this game they said we are exhausted but we showed in extra-time we had fresher legs than them.

"We have the chance to do something better, and hopefully we can do it on Sunday".

They had previously defeated Denmark and hosts Russian Federation on penalties, becoming the first team ever to advance to the final by winning three consecutive extra time games.

Croatia played extra-time for the third successive knockout match, having previously beaten Denmark and hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

Croatia and Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren has claimed that he deserves to be considered amongst the best defenders in world football.

Speaking after Croatia's 2-1 win over England, Lovren told beIN Sports: 'It's something special, for me.


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