People should recognise that I'm one of the world's best'

2018 World Cup: Croatia Sacks Coach Ahead of Semi Final Clash with England

In the Champions League final, I didn't see two better centre-halves than him - only more ruthless.

In an earlier statement released by the Croatia's football federation (HNS), Vida, 29, who played for Dynamo Kyiv from 2013-18, said he did not intend for the message to be a political statement.

Croatia have relied on mental strength to defy limited resources and become the smallest nation in 68 years to reach a World Cup final, said defender Dejan Lovren.

Matip said of Lovren's displays in Russian Federation.

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.

"I said after the Argentina group game [Croatia won 3-0] that I had a good feeling". 'If somebody told me that from the beginning of the season I would be in two of the biggest finals in the world, I would have signed straight away.

And he reserved a special word for team-mate Luka Modric: 'He is, not one of, the best midfield player in the world. Even in tough times he was always backing me up.

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"It's not the same if you play two 90-minute games, but I believe we have had ample time to recover, and we are professional enough to know who needs what in terms of recovery", he said.

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.

"I think it is our mentality".

Less than two months after lining up for Liverpool in the Champions League final, he is now heading for the biggest match in global football.

Lovren joined Liverpool in July 2014 in a $26.5 million transfer from Southampton. At the moment it's all good and we don't have to make decisions.

This is why I am proud.

Klopp's comments come after Lovren claimed that based on his recent exploits, including with the Reds in the Champions League, people should view him as one of the world's best defenders.

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