Russia defeated Spain 4-3 in the penalty shootout after being held to a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes and extra time. Croatia won their match against Denmark 3-2 also on penalties to set up a World Cup quarter-final game with hosts Russia.

"We respect the Russian national team who knocked Spain out of the World Cup," Lovren said.

"Russia players have proved that nothing is impossible. They deserve a spot in the quarter-final. We will need a lot of strength and luck to beat this team."

Russia will face Croatia at Sochi's Fisht Stadium on Sunday.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russia.