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Monday 24 October 2016

Croatia boss Ante Cacic met with Liverpool's Dejan Lovren following reported row

Published 11/04/2016 | 16:56

Dejan Lovren was an unused substitute in Croatia's last match
Dejan Lovren was an unused substitute in Croatia's last match

Croatia boss Ante Cacic held a meeting with Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren on Sunday, just over a fortnight on from the pair's apparent row during the international break.

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A statement on the Croatian Football Federation's website said Cacic spoke to Lovren, who has made 31 appearances for the national team, after watching him play in Liverpool's 4-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Stoke at Anfield.

Cacic said in the statement: "We talked for a long time, and the conversation proceeded in a sincere, spontaneous and open atmosphere."

Cacic left Lovren on the bench during the 1-1 draw against Hungary in Budapest on March 26.

Lovren was quoted by Croatian newspaper Sportske novosti as saying Cacic went back on his word in not playing him.

Lovren suggested in the newspaper that Cacic was unhappy with the defender's behaviour after asking him to warm-up, with the centre-back adding: "I'm not going to apologise, and I'm going to play in the first 11 or I'm not going to go to the Euros."

Lovren said: "The fitness coach told me to go and warm up for 10 to 15 minutes.

"I said okay and started to warm up. After 15 minutes I had finished warming up, but I was left to stand there. I was cold because I did not have a jacket, so I went back to the bench.

"Then after a minute the fitness coach again comes to me and asks me: 'So why did you sit on the bench?'

"I told him I was told to warm up for 10 to 15 minutes, and I did. Then he immediately said that to Cacic.

"Look, nobody in the world does not work after such a long warm-up - at Liverpool when we warm up, we get in the game or after the 15 minutes go back to the bench."

He added: "I was told I was going to play in the second half in Budapest.

"I was ready to enter the game - after all, we were told we would all get a chance. In the end I did not get a chance."

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