Last night he exorcised those ghosts, helping to shut Harry Kane down as Croatia reached the World Cup final.
Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren has had his fair share of critics, but on Wednesday, he played a key role in his country's 2-1 extra-time win over England in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.
Oblak has established himself as one of the world's very best goalkeepers during his four years with Atlético Madrid and the Slovenian worldwide would represent a major summer coup for Liverpool, if a deal can be struck.
"People are crying, they are happy in our country - this is something historical for us", Lovren said.
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The boys, who were guided through the cave's twisting passages on Sunday, were said to be happy and undergoing medical checks. Authorities had closely guarded the details of the boys' condition, who will be monitored in hospital for a week.
Lovren said: "This is something we will never forget". We showed our character, we showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us.
'We have the chance to do something better, and hopefully we can do it on Sunday. People will never forget us.
Lovren and Kane are set to meet again in Moscow on Wednesday, less than nine months after the former was substituted in the first half as Liverpool were crushed by Tottenham at Wembley in the Premier League.
Croatia progressing to the World Cup final betters their best ever performance at the tournament by one step. "After everything that's been said before the game, we showed our character and that we deserve to be in the final".
Those episodes have led to sanctions from soccer's global governing body, but Lovren is hoping the squad's success at this World Cup will mark a turning point for the country.