Dejan Lovren Says He's One Of The Best Defenders In The World

Lovren Presser

GETTYDejan Lovren responds to questions from the media ahead of tomorrow's semi-final against England

Croatia and Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren claims that he should be regarded as one of the best defenders in world football having reached the World Cup final.

"I think people should recognise that I am one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense".

Memories turned back to him being substituted off after half an hour for Liverpool against Tottenham last October, when he went head to head with Harry Kane.

Zlatko Dalic's team ended England's pursuit of glory at the tournament in Russian Federation with a 2-1 victory against the Three Lions after extra-time at Luzhniki Stadium.

And he is delighted that this current Croatian generation have finally lived up to, and now surpassed, the standards of the 1998 team which reached the semi-finals.

"It's something we'll never forget". People are crying. It's something historical for us.

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"We will never forget this". And Lovren insists they are not scared for the French, who will be favourites to fit the trophy for the second time, 20 years after beating the Croats in the last four.

"It's something, for me, special". We showed our character, we showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us.

"Now we have the chance to do something even better and hopefully we can do it".

"It was tough first half".

'In extra-time we showed we are still able with the fatigue to play our game'.

Indeed, both Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, have confirmed their status as two of the best midfielders in the world, while Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic have also seen their stock rise. He deserves, if we win this World Cup, the Ballon d'Or'.

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