Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp backs Dejan Lovren after Croatia World Cup run

14 July, 2018, 08:20 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Lovren Kane

The 29-year-old has been criticised for his performances for Liverpool this season but has played a key role in Croatia's success in Russian Federation this summer.

The Real Madrid star has captained Croatia to their first World Cup final, improving on the country's previous best performance at the tournament in 1998, when they finished third.

"We shouldn't be surprised that Croatia are in the last four at a World Cup, given the quality of players", said Dalic, who only took over as coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign.

Croatia seemed on the ropes when Kieran Trippier gave England an early lead, but they hit back in the second half through Ivan Perisic before grabbing a victor in extra-time through Mario Mandzukic.

He told beIN Sport: "People said I had a hard season but I don't agree with that".

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"I took Liverpool to the final of the Champions League. I think people should recognise that I'm one of the best defenders in the world". We will never forget this. We have come back after 20 years to the semis and we deserve it.

"I got a question about the 4-1 against Tottenham [in the Premier League]", he said. Then in extra-time, we showed we still had the energy to play our game. People should respect us.

Dalic refused to confirm whether right back Sime Vrsaljko would miss the game, after the Atletico Madrid player came off in extra time against Russian Federation.

This victory over England led Croatia to their first World Cup final and Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor sealed Croatia's third consecutive win in extra-time or penalties, having beaten Denmark and Russian Federation in penalty shootouts in the previous two rounds.

The proud Croatian said that team-mate Luka Modric deserves the Ballon d'Or if his side prevail against France this weekend and added that it will be a massive occasion for Croatia.

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