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

Zlatko Dalic's team ended England's pursuit of glory at the tournament in Russian Federation with a 2-1 victory against the Three Lions after extra-time at Luzhniki Stadium.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was written off before Croatia's World Cup semi-final with England.

"This feels incredible, especially after everything that was said about us before the game". "After everything that's been said before the game, we showed our character and that we deserve to be in the final". Before this game they said we are exhausted but we showed in extra-time we had fresher legs than them.

Lovren was not impressed when he was reminded of that day by an English reporter. It is just sometimes it is unfair. "People should recognise that I am also one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense".

It was Manduki who was the hero of yesterday's dramatic extra-time win -- with his vital winning goal in the 109th minute breaking hearts around England. We beat our record of 20 years ago and we had it on our shoulders all the time, this weight. This is what I wanted. I deserve this. I went through a lot of s*** and it's coming back. It's unbelievable how many talents we have in sport, basketball, handball, water polo, tennis, for sure.

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

"We couldn't control the ball or control situations", said Lovren. There is too much criticism about me. "But whatever, this is what gets me to work hard and prove everyone wrong".

It's the smallest country to reach the World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, and now, Croatia faces its biggest challenge, will the team finally be able to win the final against France and lift the World Cup trophy for the first time ever. "I made it right now". "My personal things weren't good, so I didn't want to go to the national team and make problems". I would say it's my mistake, but I can live with that.

Vanessa Coleman