|Desc||One of the first among many arrivals from Southampton in the 2010s, Lovren outranks his former Saints team-mates when it comes to Liverpool appearances. The Croatian has appeared 129 times for Liverpool in the Premier League since joining in 2014, outlasting Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Mamadou Sakho, among others. Agger is the only other out-and-out centre-back to reach a century of games in the decade, making it to 109 before departing for Brondby|
|Org||Croatia National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
2013 08 24 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren, who feels he was made the scapegoat for Lyon defeats several times last season before a move to Southampton, on his former side’s 2-0 loss at home to Real Sociedad] Let them blame me again for the defeat
2016 04 16 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren making a statement on where he sees himself in Croatia coach Ante Cacic’s plans ahead of UEFA EURO 2016] I will not apologise. I will either travel to France as first XI player or I am not going
2017 02 11 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren opens up about his life as a refugee] I hope for the next generation that it’ll be much easier, for my daughter and my son, maybe they’ll forget it and move on. I don’t know if they’ll ever understand my life or my situation, what I’ve been through, because they live in totally different worlds. If my little girl wants a toy, sometimes I say: ‘I don’t have the money’. It’s quite difficult to understand why I’m saying that, but she needs to understand that nothing comes easy. I’m working hard for her, so she needs to understand you don’t need 20 toys, sometimes you need just one or two and you’re still happy – it’s about other things
2018 05 26 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren praises team-mates Mohamed Salah ahead of the Champions League final] Of course I spoke to Mo about that but it’s still an early stage. If we win [the final], he’s definitely one of the contenders. He can be in the top three best players in the world. He has this world-class experience already. He is still calm, down to earth and he deserves every credit and every goal he’s scored up to now. We will help him to achieve this dream for himself personally
2018 11 23 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren on Jordan Henderson] A team always needs someone like Jordan Henderson.
2019 09 04 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren has revealed that, despite wanting to leave Liverpool, he’s happy to have stayed put and insisted that he turned down Roma as he didn’t feel he needed to prove himself there] I feel relief after the transfer window is closed. I got tired of reading and listening every day about me leaving or staying at Liverpool. Everyone wrote ‘Dejan is here, Dejan is there’, and they knew nothing! It annoyed me, I got a headache because of it throughout the summer. I didn’t want to force my way out of Liverpool. Two years ago I signed a four-year contract and I’ve enjoyed every moment at Liverpool. I’ve achieved big things that would not be possible had I not been at such a big club as Liverpool. We played two Champions League finals, won one, and I enjoyed the coach’s trust. But after the World Cup I cracked - both physically and mentally. The best way to say it is that I was worn out. I didn’t feel the passion or tension that I did before and after three to four months out I got injured too.
As I returned, Jurgen Klopp didn’t like some things and I understand that. I arrived at the training camp injured, although I didn’t know I was injured. I knew there were some problems but I believed I’d solve them as usual. I had put up with pain until I just couldn’t stand it anymore. And, as I returned from injury, it was hard to get in the team that was on a winning streak. The coach felt he didn’t need me that much. I played some matches but I wasn’t happy. I accepted my position, talked to the coach several times, talked about the season ahead of us and Klopp made it very clear: he told me that I could leave if I found a new club and if I wanted to leave. But he also told me he and Liverpool needed me.
I did consider a move, I knew I gave my best for Liverpool, won the Champions League and I am not the kind of player that likes to be benched and earn money for that. Yes, some people around me advised me: ‘What do you care? You are at a big club, shut up and take the money’. But I am not happy sitting on the bench. Milan contacted me but Roma were the most persistent. But negotiations didn’t go well. I don’t want to go somewhere and prove to someone who I am and how I play and whether I’m ready or not. I am professional, won a Champions League, silver at the World Cup, I achieved big things in football and don’t deserve to go anywhere on loan. And to have someone checking me, my quality…
[Lovren, who is seemingly behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in the Liverpool central defensive pecking order] I feel very happy because I felt Liverpool were by me all the time, I respect that a lot. Klopp told me: ‘Listen, buddy, you are top-class player, we will not let you go on loan, we need you’. When he told me that it was unclear to me because I know I’m in the worst position of all the centre-backs in the team. But there will be a lot of matches, some injuries are possible too. I wanted to leave, it didn’t happen, I was told Liverpool need me and I accepted that. It was not meant to be for me to leave. Last week I spoke to Klopp again, he told me he understands me, knows I am not happy, but he also said: ‘Look, now it (the transfer window) is finished, I want you to reset your head, you’re important’. I feel I am in my prime, in great shape, mentally ready and you cannot buy experience. Not many players played in a World Cup and Champions League final. That is why Liverpool wouldn’t let me go on loan. You have to pay to get quality and not go somewhere and prove something to someone
2019 10 25 Retrieve
[Lovren reveals the ‘small details’ Klopp has changed at Liverpool] Four years already? I’m getting old. We started to believe when he said, ‘From doubters to believers’. He changed things in the club, from small details like saying ‘good morning’ to everyone cleaning their table. Some part of these details are missing in some clubs. It is simple things. It is about the food, he brought in people who are the best in these positions, and he knows what he is doing. We are, I think, raised at my age that when you see an older person you will say ‘good morning’. It is about respect. When you have this outside of the pitch you will feel it also on the pitch
With the improvement, the belief, with the work of the team you can achieve anything. This is what Klopp told us. The most difficult part is when you are on the top to stay on the top. We learned about all our mistakes from previous years. I think we are on the right path
[Klopp wasn’t overly impressed with the Reds recent win over Genk] In the years before we would have drawn it, maybe even lost, but all’s ok. It was intense, we needed concentration. Our opponent brought in their tallest player and they did well from the first and second balls. Then they won the second balls. So I didn’t enjoy the game too much, but I enjoyed the result
2019 10 26 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren admits he considered leaving Liverpool in the summer] I will always be here if I am needed. I am giving more than 100 per cent for this club from day one. There are good days and bad days but six years is quite a long time. Everything, at the moment, is fine. Let’s see what will happen. It was a challenge for me this summer to stay here but I gave everything in pre-season and I fought. There are always some new challenges in front of you. It depends whether you accept them or not but it also depends on whether you are needed in the team or not. In the end I stayed and I am quite happy
[Lovren made just 18 appearances last season, with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez featuring more frequently] That is part of the job, to work hard behind the scenes even if you don’t get a chance. I always believed in myself and giving 100 per cent on the training ground. The boss sees it and in the end, it is his decision who plays or not. I am a fighter. That’s the key point, to be patient. There are players who are patient and there are players who are not patient. Me? I am struggling! But it is part of the game and you need to accept it. You are fighting with yourself and your character. It is always about fighting and the fighting spirit
This is a big improvement from ourselves. When you look back two or three years, when some changes came in the game you didn’t see [the effect of the] changes. Now when a couple of players come in, especially the [Manchester] United game when three players came on, the tempo of the game changed quickly. I am pleased for Adam and it says a lot about us, it is not easy when you don’t play for 10 games and then you just come in and everyone expects you should play as if you have played for three months. It is not easy like that. Naby, Adam, Chambo, Joe – they have all done great
2019 10 28 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren has described Liverpool’s defeat of Tottenham as a massive, massive win] We knew it would be a tough game, even though they didn’t have brilliant results in the last couple of games. We knew it would be tough and unfortunately they scored in the first minute, but we kept our nerve, played our game and we had many chances. We came in at half-time and the boss said: ‘Usually I never say this, but I am satisfied even though we are 1-0 down. But we need to continue like that and keep our nerve’. We knew we would have another chance and we did it. It’s a massive, massive win
I’m happy for Hendo, he deserved that. And, especially for the three points, Sadio – it was a great run from him [to win the penalty]. Overall, we’re quite happy. Let’s just now recover well, sleep well and eat well because we have a game every three days. So, just be calm with our heads and everything will be OK
Let’s say that every season we are smarter and smarter. Definitely we’ve learned from all the years before and what kind of pressure we can play. We are used to it. We did it last year. We know what we need to do, but, like I said, let’s not talk six or seven months up front. Let’s go game by game. This is key
2019 11 22 Retrieve
[Lovren ‘started from zero’ after snubbing Liverpool exit to remain part of Klopp’s plans] It’s a big place to leave after everything I went through here. There have been more positive days than the bad, especially after the Champions League final and the win was a big relief for me because I wanted to win something with this club, having been here for so many years. I would ask myself if we didn’t win, should I stay or not and there was some interest with some other clubs but I had a good conversation with the manager. After that, the decision was easy so I stayed and I think we are on the right path to do something big this season again
I started from zero again to prove that I deserve to be in the first XI but that’s football. When you’ve been out for months in the last season and didn’t have so many minutes on the pitch, it’s about restarting. In pre-season, I did hard work behind the scenes and again, maybe it didn’t start as well as I thought it would, but I’ve been speaking with the manager, been patient and sometimes it’s easy to say that but not to do. I did it in the end and everything came back […] It’s good to feel that you’re important here again and this is what matters for every player
2019 11 23 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren claims Liverpool are not thinking about their commanding lead at the top of the Premier League table] It’s quite important, of course, to continue where we left off. It is easy always to say ‘keep the momentum’ but it is really hard work on and off the pitch to do that. You will look on TV and see the [points] gap and maybe that’s the only thing you will see, but on the pitch, we don’t think about it. It is just about winning games, game by game. We don’t think about what will happen in two or three months’ time, we are really 100 per cent focused for the next game against Crystal Palace. That’s our work, that’s how we should do it. I think now we are more experienced and I think we’ve learned many things
Just focus on yourself, on your play, on the ball, on the moment which will arrive, it is as simple as that. It’s about training your mind. I know it is easy to say, but it’s hard to produce that on the pitch game by game, to stay hungry and focused. But we know what we want, we know what we can achieve. We showed that last year in the Champions League, two seasons in a row being in the final, it says a lot about us and that we stay hungry
2020 02 11 Retrieve
[Lovren backs Liverpool to replicate Guardiola’s Barcelona and become one of greatest ever teams] I’ve been there from the beginning with Jurgen and it took quite a while, two or three years to build everything up. Let’s say, we clicked this year - maybe even last year - but we missed out by one point.
Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [about] 20 trophies. Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played - not only for this year, but for many, many years. We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special to be honest.
I think many other teams would go easy now with a 22-point lead, but we don’t look at these 22 points. We are just focused game by game and this I think is the simplest way to be the best. It is a good experience also for the younger ones, to understand that even if you are on top you still need to work as hard as if you were in the middle of the table or in last position
2020 03 02 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren says Liverpool players ‘ashamed’ after ‘deserved’ Watford defeat] It’s strange, to be honest. It hurts, really hurts. A defeat is a defeat but, you know, this was strange. Maybe it is a wake-up call for us. It feels like someone has hit us in the face - and we deserved it. We feel a bit ashamed because there’s no excuse for that performance. It really hurts because from the beginning to the end we were missing all the things we usually have
The manager looked at us when he came into the dressing room and I think he knows we are missing something. I think it was about the aggression when we lost the ball and not recovering it as quickly as possible. Usually we do it without a problem but against Watford, they were always winning the second balls - and that doesn’t usually happen with us. We need to look at this and realise that we have to do much, much better
2020 03 02b Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren had taken their first league defeat in almost 14 months on the chin] it feels like someone hit us in the face – and we deserve it. You’ve got to have courage. because courage is the ability to get up when things are getting you down. You get up and fight back
2020 04 19 Retrieve
[Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren says that the appetite for success at Anfield remains a fearsome one] Once you try a good meal, you want to try it again – you don’t stop. This is what is pushing us. We want to show to everyone what we are capable of. The core of the team is here, starting from the manager – he did a great job here from the beginning. He showed everyone that he has the abilities and the skills and he knows how to manage the team in bad moments and in good moments. We didn’t stop work, that’s the main point – we stayed hungry. This is what he brought to us. We are always hungry and will stay hungry
It’s important to have a mix between really young players, the middle-aged players and the experienced players. I think we have it, this is the great balance. We are used to playing big finals and the big games and we know how to manage it. Even when we are 1-0 down we know what to do. This is why it’s important to have a balance in the team. If we keep the important players and the core of the team here for many years, we will only grow
Stay home and stay positive, stay healthy because we need to keep our nerves. Of course, there will be a moment when everything will come back together as normal. Stay positive, that’s what I would say to the fans
2020 06 04 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren insists he is fully focused on Liverpool’s title charge, despite ongoing speculation surrounding his future at Anfield] I’m always ready. If someone is injured and coming off, I’m ready to step in and show my quality. I think I proved that last season, when Joe Gomez or Joel Matip were injured and I came in and played. My goal is to play and to win as many trophies as possible. But at the moment the focus is just to win the next two games and be champions. After that, we will see what happens
It has been a test for me. But in these moments, I think you should stick with the team even more, to show your quality even if you are not on the pitch with the first XI. The next day in training, you should give everything, just to respect your team-mates. Of course, it’s not the happiest moment when I see myself on the bench, but it’s the decision of the manager. I respect it and I am always the guy who will work 200 per cent behind closed doors
At this level, it’s normal to be exposed to criticism. To be honest, I’m not too bothered. If I feel criticism, it will be first from the manager, but my biggest critic is me. I can see when I perform well or not, it’s as simple as that. I don’t need somebody to tell me. I don’t read a lot of newspapers or listen much to the pundits. It is what it is. It’s football and we have to deal with it. Some players can’t do that and they go inside themselves, but accepting it is important. The criticism will just make me stronger. It has always been part of football and it always will be part of football
[Lovren added on Klopp being the inspiration behind Liverpool’s transformation] He came in and said, ‘Guys, I want you to think positively, to believe in yourselves. Without belief, we can’t do anything’. We do not stop. Even when we are at our best level, he sees that we can improve more. He had a whole picture already in his mind, he just missed a few pieces. So he bought Alisson, he bought Virgil, then it just clicked. He has done an amazing job
2020 06 08 Retrieve
[Dejan Lovren says Liverpool kept focus on winning Premier League title before return was announced] To be honest, even without a date at the beginning, our main focus and goal was, ‘Guys, let’s finish the season. There will, of course, be a date back, but just stay in shape, be in shape when we come back. We will do it and then we can say well done’. That was our main focus from the beginning. All the time we have been working in the gym, we know what is our focus. Of course we still have two games [to win until] we can say, ‘Yeah, we are the champions’ but our main focus is to win all the games. That’s the main target.
The last two weeks before we came back together, to be honest, I was a little bit struggling with not knowing when we will start and when we will be back together. You put so many questions in your mind, ‘When will everything be back to normal?’, but this is a great challenge for yourself and to show to everyone that you care about yourself, you care about your team. So we did it and we did an amazing job. We came back in great shape. We did some physical tests and I think it says a lot about the team. Everyone respected all the planning and programmes that we got. This is what’s important for this team
2020 07 13 Retrieve
[Lovren admitted he was frustrated at his lack of game time and believed he could continue his professional career for five more years] I’m patient. I’m working behind closed doors a lot and sometimes it is frustrating when you don’t play. You are fighting with yourself in your mind, asking ‘Why not?’ But you are accepting it, you are moving on and from my personal point of view, I want to be better every day in the training sessions.
The day will come when I will get again the chance so I am happy that I am not injured - which is the most important thing - and I’m also happy that we are all together and we have a full squad at the moment. Of course I want to be in the team that wins many trophies. I think, and I feel, that I have quite a lot of years to give especially in professional football. I’m 30, so another good five years. I don’t think I’m just a throwaway. If the club needs me I am here, I am happy. But you never know what can happen in the summer. At the moment I am just focused on the point where I can say I made it [as part of a great team].