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Following Croatia's World Cup semi-final win over England on Wednesday, Lovren said he should start receiving more respect from the media both at club and global level.

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.

Until now, Croatia's greatest moment on the football pitch was reaching the World Cup semifinals in 1998, the country's first tournament after becoming independent.

Following Croatia's World Cup semi-final win over England, the 29-year-old pointed to his role in Liverpool's Champions League final run and his nation's progress at Russian Federation 2018 as proof of his abilities.

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"I think people should recognize that I am also one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense". "It is special history when you look back and see three times 120 minutes and we had fresher legs than that England team".

Lovren marshalled Kane well having been tormented by the England captain during the Premier League season
Lovren marshalled Kane well having been tormented by the England captain during the Premier League seasonALASTAIR GRANT AP

Lovren also called for his national team captain Luka Modric to be crowned the 2018 Ballon d'Or victor after leading the country to their first ever World Cup final. Good on him, he's got as big a heart as anybody else.

"It's amusing, this is my third preseason and every year we talk about the same things", Klopp said. He played a really good World Cup, but to do it consistently is more important.

But after the break, Croatia took control, equalised through Ivan Perisic and then won the game with Mario Mandzukic's extra-time strike. "In the second half we were much better, we found space on the side and put in good crosses".

"We are a small country, only four million people and we have big talent in our squad", he told CNN Sport in an exclusive interview before the World Cup.

"This is something we'll never forget", he said.

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

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He said: "We are really proud of the support we have received". "We can't wait to get going now against Croatia ", he added. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.


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