The footballing world is still getting over Croatia’s remarkable 2-1 World Cup semi-final win over England.
Kieran Trippier’s stunning free-kick gave the Three Lions an early lead, leading to choruses of ‘football’s coming home’ around the nation.
The jubilation would only last as long as the 68th minute though, as Ivan Perisic would level the game, and it was left for Mario Mandzukic to fire home the winner in extra time as the England defence ball-watched.
The Croatian players were very vocal following the game, with captain Luka Modric slamming the British press and pundits for underestimating his side, and right-back Sime Vrsaljko claming that England’s ‘new-style’ of team isn’t really fresh at all.
Another player well-known to English fans who had a lot to say following Croatia’s victory was Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.
Lovren told BeIN Sports that he is one of the best defenders in the world, after reaching both the Champions League final and World Cup final in the same year, a comment that has garnered many reactions around the world.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stood by Lovren when fans have been calling for his head, after a shaky start at Anfield four years ago which has been turbulent as recent as the first part of the 2017/18 season.
But since the £75 million addition of Virgil Van Dijk in January, Lovren has shown why he arrived at the Reds in 2014 so highly-rated from Southampton.
And Lovren has revealed that his club manager sent him a text message following Croatia’s semi-final win, showing him how much Klopp rates him.
“He’s [Klopp] proud of me and what I’ve achieved,” said Lovren.
“He knows what I went through. He’s a good man. Even in tough times he was always backing me up. I appreciated that.”
Very classy from Klopp.
Despite reaching the final, Lovren felt for his club-mate Jordan Henderson, and admitted it wouldn’t have been unfair if the midfielder was playing in the final instead of him.
“I am a little bit disappointed for my team-mate [Jordan Henderson] because he also deserved to be in the final. I wish we could both be in the final for that game but there is only one winner.”
After keeping the tournament’s top scorer Harry Kane quiet for 120 minutes, Lovren’s attentions turn to Kylian Mbappe on Sunday, where the French teenager looks to create his legacy on the grandest stage of football in Moscow.