Dejan Lovren admits next week’s Champions League final in Kiev promises to be a special day for his home nation of Croatia.
The defender will battle it out with compatriots Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic as Liverpool, seeking a sixth win in the competition, face a Real Madrid side in search of their third consecutive European title.
Lovren himself promises to play a defining role as the Reds look to keep out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in order to give their own fearsome attack force a foundation on which to cause the favourites problems.
Liverpool’s no.6 has revealed he has spoken to his international teammates since sealing a place in the final against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.
“I have been in touch with my Croatian international teammates Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic, who play for Real Madrid,” he told the official Liverpool FC magazine.
“It’s quite an amazing achievement for such a small country of not even four million people that almost every year we have a Croatian international player who can win the final. It’s great for us and for the nation.”
He added: “I’m sure the whole nation will be tuning in for the final. I would say more people will be on my side as I haven’t won it before and both these guys have won it the last few times!”
Lovren has restored confidence among Reds over his ability to perform at a high level with a surge in form since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk in January.
His more settled demeanour behind-the-scenes has translated into a greater self-belief and assurance in his work on the pitch, contributing to Liverpool’s vast improvement as a defensive unit in recent months.
Kiev demands the biggest shift of not only Lovren’s career but that of every man in red.