All eyes will be on Dejan Lovren’s Croatia on Thursday evening as they play in the first match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Niko Kovač’s side face the hosts in tonight’s competition 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.
Croatia failed to progress to the knock-out stages of Euro 2012 after being drawn alongside eventual finalists Spain and Italy. They will contest Group A in Brazil alongside the hosts, Cameroon and Mexico.
"We are not scared (of Brazil),” Lovren stated ahead of tonight’s game. “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."
Lovren points towards Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric as an important part of the Croatia side with the former Tottenham man having capped an excellent season at club level by winning the UEFA Champions League.
"Modric is a key player for us, one of the most important players in our team," said the Saints defender.
"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.”