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

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Reaching the final caps a hugely impressive 2018 for Lovren, who came through a hard run of form for Liverpool to play a key part in reaching the UEFA Champions League final in May.

"I think people should recognise that I am also one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense", he told BeIN Sports.

"From my point of view I had people saying I had a hard season but I don't agree with that", he told beIN Sports.

"I took Liverpool to the final of the Champions League and now with my national team we are in the final".

"I admire his ability to fancy himself, but he isn't one of the best defenders in the world".

Lovren continued the excellent form he displayed in the second half of Liverpool's season by repelling England and crushing their dreams of a first appearance in the final since 1966.

"We will never forget this".

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Croatia and Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren has claimed that he deserves to be considered amongst the best defenders in world football. People are crying in our country. This is historical for us.

"After 20 years, people will remember us, not only the '98 team".

"[In Croatia] we went through a lot of s***, war, all these things and even now the situation is not the best".

They had previously defeated Denmark and hosts Russian Federation on penalties, becoming the first team ever to advance to the final by winning three consecutive extra time games.

"I am perfectly ready and fit, and I can say the same for my teammates".

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.