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

Croatia players celebrate after beating Russia on post-match penalties during their Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final match at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi

Croatia players celebrate after beating Russia on post-match penalties during their Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final match at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi

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.

Captain Luka Modric's children were spotted after the final whistle in Croatia's quarter-final penalty shootout win over hosts Russian Federation earlier in the week, but it was the beginning of an under-sevens side that kept the crowd going long after Croatia qualified for their first ever World Cup final on Thursday (AEST).

"I took Liverpool to the final of the Champions League and now with my national team we are in the final", he told ESPN.

"I know I made a mistake and I would like to apologize again to Russian people", Vida said in an interview with Rossiya 24 state television, adding that he was bothered by the jeers.

The world will be watching when Lovren faces France in the final on Sunday. "We showed our character, we showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us", he said.

"I think people should recognise that I'm one of the best defenders in the world".

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"From my point of view, people said I had a hard season but I don't agree", he said. Vukojević was sacked from his role with the national team.

He continued: "This is something we'll never forget". We beat our record 20 years ago and we had it on our shoulders all the time, this weight I would say and people now will never forget us.

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

The booing and whistles rang out each time Vida touched the ball in the semifinal against England, starting about 30 minutes into the first half. They had also good chances, but second half we did it much, much better. Before this game they said we are exhausted but we showed in extra-time we had fresher legs than them.

However, Lovren believes that his achievements confirm that he is among the world's best players in his position.

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