Dejan Lovren hopes people will now accept that he is “one of the best defenders in the world”.
It caps a fine season for the centre-half, who helped guide Liverpool to the Champions League final despite some difficult moments throughout the campaign.
“It’s something special for me,” Lovren told beIN Sports.
“From my point of view, people said I had a difficult season but I don’t agree.
“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.
“It was quite tough in the first half. We couldn’t control the ball. They had some good chances but in the second half we did much better. We took spaces on the side and found some good crosses.
“In extra time we showed that even with fatigue we were still able to play our game.
“This is something that we will never forget. People are crying and are happy in our country now. This is something historical for us.
“We will never forget this. We beat our record from 20 years ago. We had this weight on our shoulders all the time. Now people will never forget us.
“Now we have a chance to do something even better and hopefully we can do it on Sunday.
“(Luka) Modric is the best midfield player in the world and if we win this World Cup he deserves the Ballon d’Or.”