‘France didn’t play football… we were better than them,’ blasts Dejan Lovren after Croatia’s World Cup final defeat
Dejan Lovren slammed France‘s World Cup tactics and insisted Croatia were the better side in Sunday’s final.
The Liverpool defender also criticised referee Nestor Pitana’s decision to award France a controversial first-half penalty after a VAR review. The Argentine adjudged Ivan Perisic to have handled the ball.
Lovren said: ‘We have been better today and overall we have been better. France didn’t play football. They waited for their chance and they scored. They had their one tactic and you have to respect it. They played every game of the tournament like that.
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren has hit out at France’s tactics after Sunday’s World Cup final
Lovren was on the losing side as Croatia were defeated 4-2 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow
‘I am disappointed because we lost the game but we played much better football then them.
‘I am proud of what we achieved, second in the world. I’m proud of everyone and for the country. We have regrets now when we look at decisions, but it doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s hard to describe. Maybe after a couple of months I will have everything straight.’
On the disputed penalty, Lovren added: ‘I was sure he would not give the penalty. Our player could not react, it’s impossible when you are so close to the ball. It was a critical moment.
‘VAR needs to improve. Sometimes it is a penalty and sometimes not. I really don’t understand. A lot of people say it’s not a penalty but what can we do now? Nobody understands the rules.’
France captain Hugo Lloris became only the third goalkeeper to lead a team to World Cup glory after Italy’s Dino Zoff and Spain’s Iker Casillas, and he expressed his pride after France won the trophy for the second time.
France won a penalty after a VAR review adjudged Ivan Perisic to have handled the ball
Olivier Giroud (right) and Lucas Hernandez were among the French players calling for a pen
Referee Nestor Pitana reviews footage of the incident thanks to VAR as play is halted
And after viewing it, Pitana overturned his decision and pointed to the spot to Croatia’s angst
‘I am looking forward to celebrating with the French people tomorrow,’ said the Tottenham No 1. ‘It is wonderful to see them joyous, emotional, that’s how we like to see our country and football has shown its power to unite. We can be proud of what we have achieved.’
Lloris admitted he hoped his howler for Croatia’s second goal would be quickly forgotten.
‘The most important thing was the saves I made,’ said Lloris. ‘Aside from that, I let things slide a little. I am hoping the mistake remains a mere anecdote and that we can enjoy this moment.
‘It is a great privilege to be captain. I want to thank all my team-mates for allowing me to lift this historical trophy, even more so because my grandma was in the stands, my dad, my sister and my brother, my wife and my two girls too. This is why we play football. A lot of work has gone into this.’