Dejan Lovren faced up against the best player in the history of football and didn’t let anything get past him.
Such was the jubilation from the Croatian national team in their 3-0 victory over Argentina, and the debate over whether Lionel Messi is playing poorly or being misused, that this perhaps hasn’t received the attention it deserves.
After the amount of endless criticism he has received over the course of his Liverpool career, in the last six months Lovren has genuinely impressed. While the mistakes still happen occasionally, they have been less frequent, and he is no longer a liability in the side.
And the Croatian centre back seems like he’s really enjoying his time at the World Cup.
“It has been a surprising tournament and there are no favourites right now, or no teams that are likely to be easy winners”, the Liverpool Echo report Lovren as saying.
“We must respect teams like Germany, Brazil, Spain and Belgium, who are all incredible teams. Right now, no-one is showing on the pitch that they are far superior than any other team”.
Talking of his own nation, Lovren said that “Croatia is a dark horse, a bit of an underdog, but we have to show we play well and we hope to continue to play well”.
While Liverpool fans probably don’t want to hear about how great it is to play with someone from Real Madrid, with the wounds of the Champions League final still sore, Lovren was open about his compatriot Luka Modric.
“It is a real pleasure to play with Luka Modric, who is one of the best players in the world right now. Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves. All football lovers know Modric is an incredible player”.
Regrettably, Dejan, we do know that Modric is an incredible player, as we saw it with our own eyes. But everyone is starting to see that you’re pretty good too, and attackers can’t expect an easy time of it when they face you.
Long may Lovren’s good form continue.