Dejan Lovren insists he considers himself to be among the top defenders on the planet after he reached the World Cup final.
Lovren was instrumental in helping Croatia come from behind against England on Wednesday to secure their place in Sunday's final with France.
The centre-half was also part of the Liverpool team that reached the final of the Champions League last season, and feels he proved critics wrong with his performances this year.
"It's something special for me. From my point of view, people said I had a difficult season but I don't agree," he said.
"I took Liverpool to the final of the Champions League. Now with my national team we are in the final.
"I think people should recognise that I am also one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense."
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Croatia are now preparing for their first-ever World Cup final, with Zlatko Dalic's side surpassing the 1998 team which reached the last four in France.
Lovren, who has featured in all six of Croatia's fixtures at this summer's tournament, added: "This is something we will never forget. People are crying. It's something historical for us. We will never forget this.
"We beat our record from 20 years ago. We've had this weight on our shoulders all the time, and now people will never forget us.
"We have the chance to do something better, and hopefully we can do it on Sunday.
"It was tough first half. We couldn't control the ball or control situations. They had also good chances, but second half we did it much, much better. In extra-time we showed we are still able with the fatigue to play our game."