Dejan Lovren: A child refugee

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren celebrates with teammates after a 2-1 extra-time win over England in the World Cup semi-finals. EPA

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren celebrates with teammates after a 2-1 extra-time win over England in the World Cup semi-finals. EPA

Who will start for Croatia when they take on France in the World Cup final?

"I think against the French, they are incredible players, but he's the player I know from this final so we hope that we will see him with the trophy", Matip told Liverpoolfc.com, after being asked if he wants to watch Lovren win the famous prize.

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.

It's the smallest country to reach the World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, and now, Croatia faces its biggest challenge - will the team finally be able to win the final against France and lift the World Cup trophy for the first time ever?

He has turned the page on last October's horror show, ensuring Harry Kane did not find the scoresheet.

Asked what the difference between the two sides was, Lovren replied: "Mentally".

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has backed Dejan Lovren's claims he is among the world's best defenders.

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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.

"I was nine and I remember my mum was screaming and crying after the French game", Lovren said.

"From my point of view, people said I had a hard season but I don't agree", said the 29-year-old.

"Modric is not one of the best, [he is] the best midfield player in the world and if we win this World Cup he deserves the Ballon d'Or".

"I always said there is a future, it's about what we do in the moment".

France came into the World Cup with a squad of players who were considered in some quarters to be the best in Russian Federation. But they hit back in the second half through Ivan Perisic before grabbing a victor in extra-time through Mario Mandzukic.

And as anticipation has grown each year as to whether Croatia's squad will finally meet the expectations set in France two decades ago, they finally proved themselves -- after a historic win against England yesterday. We went through again a lot. wars, all these things, and even now the situation is not the best. "People will never forget us", he added.

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