Lovren: I am one of the world’s best

Dejan Lovren says people should respect him as “one of the best defenders in the world” having helped Croatia to the World Cup final and Liverpool to the final of the Champions League.

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The 29-year-old former Lyon and Southampton centre-back has his fair share of critics since joining the Reds.

He also received negative press from Croatian outlets during the global showpiece in Russia.

But having helped his side overcome England 2-1 in their semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday, Lovren is demanding respect.

Speaking to BeIN SPORTS, he said: “I heard people saying I had a difficult season but I don’t agree with that.

“I took Liverpool to the final of the Champions League and now with my national team, we are in the [World Cup] final.

“I think people should recognise that I am one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense.”

Lovren added that Luka Modric should be in line to win the Ballon d’Or following his excellent performances for Croatia, if they manage to beat France in Sunday’s final.

“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.”