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

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

The defender, who also reached the Champions League final with Liverpool in May, will face France in the World Cup final on Sunday and the 29-year-old feels he has proved himself this season.

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

"But I like to challenge these strikers and to show to everyone that I'm one of the best defenders".

But he felt vindicated after keeping Kane quiet as Croatia crushed England's World Cup dreams by coming from behind to win an epic semi- final 2-1 and book their place against France on Sunday. "We showed our character, we showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us", he said.

He continued: 'This is something we will never forget.

And he is delighted that this current Croatian generation have finally lived up to, and now surpassed, the standards of the 1998 team which reached the semi-finals.

"We will never forget this".

"I really don't understand these questions, always looking back to where I made some mistakes", he said.

"But I think even now after 20 years people will remember us and not just the '98 team".

"It was a tough first half".

"They had also good chances, but second half we did it much, much better".

"We shouldn't be surprised that Croatia are in the last four at a World Cup, given the quality of players", said Dalic, who only took over as coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign.

But after the break, Croatia took control, equalised through Ivan Perisic and then won the game with Mario Mandzukic's extra-time strike.

Croatia and Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren has claimed that he deserves to be considered amongst the best defenders in world football.