Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has claimed that he is now one of the best defenders in the game.
The centre-back was part of the Croatia side which knocked England out of the World Cup to claim a place in Sunday’s final against favourites France – and the former Southampton man believes it shows that he is now in the top bracket in his position.
“We showed our character. We showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us.” he said.
“Sometimes, the criticism is unfair and people should respect me also.” he added.
When asked if he thought he has proved himself to be one of the best players in his position currently in football, he took little time to claim that he has.
“Without being arrogant I think I have. Definitely.” he responded.
“But this criticism is what gets me more motivated to work harder and prove everyone wrong.
“Everyone. From today, everyone in Croatia and around the world saw we managed to make history.
“In twenty years’ time, people will remember us, and not just the team from 1998. That is why I am proud, and now we have one game to make people remember us forever.
“It is special history when you look back and see we had to play 120 minutes three times and we still had fresher legs than that England team. The difference was mental because we knew we could write history and we did it.
“We went through a lot of shit: war, all these things, and even now the situation is not the best.
“But it is unbelievable how many talents we have in sport. At basketball, at handball, at water polo, at tennis especially. We have good mothers and fathers, making good love.” he finished.