Lovren: Modric key to Croatia success

Dejan Lovren believes playmaker Luka Modric holds the key to Croatia enjoying a successful FIFA World Cup campaign.

Real Madrid midfielder Modric had an excellent season at club level, winning the UEFA Champions League, and Southampton defender Lovren hopes his compatriot can maintain his form in Brazil.

Croatia face hosts Brazil in next Thursday's World Cup curtain-raiser in Sao Paulo, and Lovren feels his team can hold their own and perhaps even cause an upset against the side many consider to be favourites to win the tournament.

"Modric is a key player for us, one of the most important players in our team," said the 24-year-old. 

"He has shown for Real Madrid the same thing, we are happy that we have Modric in our team but we have other players too who are key.

"We are not scared (of Brazil). We have the confidence and we also have a good team, top players and we need just to think about our game and play our style.

"It's a pleasure to play the opening game, it will be something amazing for everyone in Croatia.

"I think we are already proud to be here and now we can't wait to start the game."