Liverpool star Lovren lays the ghosts of Tottenham horror show to rest

Harry Kane England Dejan Lovren Croatia

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.

"This is something historical for us", said Lovren.

Lovren bounced back later in the season, helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final.

He told beIN Sport: "People said I had a hard season but I don't agree with that".

Spectators at Wednesday's World Cup semifinal in the Russian capital booed and whistled Croatia defender Domagoj Vida, who had spoken out in support of Russia's neighbour and adversary Ukraine. Vukojevic was sacked from his role with the national team.

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

Chelsea part ways with Conte
He also clashed with senior players such as Diego Costa and David Luiz while others had begun to grow tired of his methods. That success was helped by prolific striker Diego Costa, who scored 20 goals and provided eight assists.

"I have the opportunity to help him and next time, maybe I will say it".

It's been 20 years since Croatia not only burst onto the FIFA World Cup scene, but also since they advanced beyond the group stages.

'We have the chance to do something better, and hopefully we can do it on Sunday.

A half an hour into Wednesday's match, spectators in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium began jeering Vida every time he touched the ball. "In extra-time we showed we are still able with the fatigue to play our game".

The proud Croatian said that team-mate Luka Modric deserves the Ballon d'Or if his side prevail against France this weekend and added that it will be a massive occasion for Croatia.

Croatia's participation in Monday's final will mark a remarkable staging post in the journey of one of its key players Dejan Lovren, who experienced life as a child refugee in the 1990s after fleeing war-torn Bosnia.

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