As he prepares to make his Liverpool debut against the Southampton side he left during the summer, Dejan Lovren has spoken with the national press on a variety of subjects from his incredible life story so far.

From having to leave a war zone with his family at the tender age of just three, through to signing for Liverpool and comparisons with Jamie Carragher - the Croatian international lifts the lid on a truly inspirational tale of courage and determination.

Here are some of his best quotes.

Lovren on why it's important to never refuse an autograph request: "When I was a kid I had a dream about [playing for] Bayern Munich, they were my team. I had my photos taken with Giovanni Elber, Basler, Lizarazu. I have all these pictures in my room.

"I would go to the training ground to see them. The guys here at Melwood waiting? That was me.

"So I stop. Every time. I know what it means for the mother and father to see their child smiling after the autograph. Nobody should mind giving up 10 minutes."

Lovren on having to a flee a war zone with his family from their home when aged just three, after the outbreak of hostilities in Bosnia: "It was horrible in this time. The family left because of the war. If we stayed, somebody would be killed. We took the bags, one little car and we were in Germany.

"There was an attack on the market a year after we left, a lot of people were killed.

"It was really difficult for my parents to leave the country at 27, 28 years old, and say, 'Come on, we need to go to Germany'.

"It was normal in Germany at that time to accept the immigrants. What can you say to them? Say no and send them back and they will be killed?

"But you don't speak German, you don't know anything about this, you are going like a blind man, and with a child like me at three years old."

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Lovren on returning home to Croatia at the age of 10: "We had just a one-year visa, so every year we didn't know when we would go. Every year my parents were prepared with the bags to go, and after seven years they said, 'Now is the time'.

"It was really difficult for me, because I had many friends. I had three years in the nursery, and four years in the school. I was German speaking, and I arrived in Croatia aged 10 when I hadn't spoken a lot at home with my parents in Croatian.

"It took me two years after I went back to learn everything again in Croatian. It was difficult because you know, when you're a kid, the others kids are laughing at you over things like that."

Lovren on why he will never forget his roots and where he came from: "This gave something to me, it made me stronger inside. It showed me life is never easy, you will earn everything with work.

"I saw everything on my parents. They gave me everything they could, but it was not amazing. I said to myself, 'I don't want to live my life like this'.

"But I'm proud about this. I know where I came from. It will always be in me. Maybe it was better to happen like this than have a 'good' childhood when you don't know the real life."

Lovren on signing for Dinamo Zagreb in 2004: "In Munich I was playing in this little club and I've been told they have a picture of me on the wall.

"They heard about me becoming a 'star' and it's nice to still be remembered there.

"I never expected that I would be somebody one day. I just started playing and when I was 12, 13 I thought 'wow, I'm playing good!'

"Then Dinamo Zagreb were speaking about wanting to sign me and I thought 'maybe I can achieve something'."

Lovren on playing in the Premier League for Southampton and scoring the winner at Anfield last season: "It was a great moment for me. After a difficult situation with Lyon, I showed that I deserved to play in the Premier League."

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Lovren on playing Southampton in his first game as Liverpool's new No.6: "To play them in the first game was destiny. I will just have to concentrate on my game, on our style and I won't think about Southampton.

"Maybe there is some regret with how I left Southampton. I said that I wanted to leave because Liverpool is a massive club and maybe I will have this chance just one time in my life. It was not so easy at the beginning. It took a lot of time. But at the end everybody agreed and I shook their hands and said goodbye so now it is finished."

Lovren on why he wanted to sign for Liverpool: "I had better offers financially but from the first day I said I want to come to Liverpool.

"I want to achieve something here because I know this club is big and Brendan Rodgers is a great manager.

"There is a lot of talent here - amazing players - and last season they showed they can do something. I'm really confident in this team."

Lovren on comparisons with Jamie Carragher: "Brendan said to me he sees me as a leader. I said to him 'I'm still young, I'm only 25 but I will try my best'. I will lead the team. I don't have so much experience like Jamie Carragher but I think it will come with time.

"I said also it's a great honour to be compared with a legend like him.

"I have a lot of time in front of me so I will just keep working and then I think the leadership will come. I like to talk during the game, I like communication with the lads... to keep me awake apart from anything else!"

Lovren on Liverpool's title ambitions this season: "I can't say now that we can win the title but I will say that we have a really good chance along with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City. I think it will be tight but we will be here fighting."