AAs an adult, Dejan Lovren has been confronted with the war again. He resides in St. Petersburg, where he is playing football for FC Zenit when the Russian army launches the invasion of Ukraine this February. And when many foreign players leave the league and the country, he changes his mind. He stays.
This Tuesday Lovren, 33 years old, plays with the Croatian national team in the semi-finals of the World Cup against Argentina. Before that, you could tell the sporting story of Lovren, who lost the World Cup final with Croatia in the summer of 2018 and won the Champions League final with Liverpool in the summer of 2019. But before that, one should tell the political history of Lovren. Because in February he was not confronted with the war for the first time. And because he has already commented on the case of Russia in Qatar.
When he was three years old, Lovren had to flee the Bosnian village of Kraljeva Sutjeska with his Croatian family. “I remember the sirens went off,” says Lovren in a documentary produced by Liverpool FC.
“I remember that my mother, my uncle and my uncle’s wife took the car and drove to Germany. We left everything behind – the house, the little grocery store. They took a bag and said: ‘Let’s go to Germany’.” In Munich, where his family is staying, he began his career at BSC Sendling, which took him through Zagreb, Lyon, Southampton and Liverpool to St. Petersburg.
In Doha, Lovren is asked about Russia. “I’m angry that Russia isn’t at the World Cup,” he says. And when reporters point out the sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, Lovren says this sentence: “Even if that were the case [dass Russland die Ukraine angegriffen hat, d. Red.]should Russia still be allowed to take part in the World Cup.”