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Ex-Liverpool defender Lovren: Russia should be in World Cup; I'm proud I stayed with Zenit

Zenit St Petersburg defender Dejan Lovren is sorry Russia isn't part of the World Cup.

Russia were banned from qualifying by FIFA after the invasion of Ukraine.

Croatia defender Lovren says: "Yes of course (Russia should be in Qatar). I have always said that sports and politics should be separated. Russia is a big team, so it is a pity that they are not at the World Cup.

"But that is when even larger teams are not included.

"But I believe that everything will change soon, so I always look at it all positively."

On staying with Zenit during the conflict, the former Liverpool defender added: "I had a lot of thoughts in my head about what to do. But I think I chose the best decision by staying at the club so I can help the team.

"I'm proud to be a leader where we also had a good season."

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