After Russian Premier League star Dejan Lovren called Bill Gates last year about Covid-19 vaccinations, he commented on the sting and talked about life at Zenit St. Petersburg and English Premier League owner Liverpool.
2018 World Cup finalist Lovren caused an uproar in May when he told Microsoft magnate Gates it was “game over” in response to his post of thanking healthcare workers during the pandemic.
The tough defender told the tech billionaire people were not “blind,” vowed to be part of the “resistance,” and shared footage from an interview with conspiracy theorist David Icke about 5G networks.
In a new interview with Zenit, Lovren confirmed that he hadn’t targeted Gates for stories about 5G and didn’t believe the coronavirus was linked to the technology.
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“I never said there was no virus,” said the 31-year-old, discussing his posts just before ending his six-year tenure in Liverpool.
“I’ve talked about freedom of choice and freedom of thought. Everyone should have a choice and everyone has the right to choose who they are and who they want to be.
“Nobody should decide things for others. The same applies to other issues. For example, when I read that those who are not vaccinated should not get a job, I question these issues and the human rights associated with them.
“I don’t think vaccinations are dangerous, I’m talking about freedom of choice. Nobody should be able to force me to do anything.
“If I want to go for a walk, I should be able to go for a walk without permission. And I believe that everyone should have that freedom of choice.
“If you would like to be vaccinated, please. If not, accept the potential dangers responsibly.”
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When asked if he thought the country of origin of a vaccine was important, Lovren replied: “If I had to choose, I would choose the Russian one because I think that Russia is often misrepresented and unfairly presented in the West.”
The center-back took advantage of the winter break in the Russian football calendar to help people affected by earthquakes near his hotel in Croatia, which he publicly offered to families displaced by the disaster last month.
“Many locals have lost their homes, around 30,000 to 50,000 people,” he said. “So I had unusual free time and a break. I helped a few people and personally worked as a cleaning lady and waitress in our hotel.
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“It was two days later [a] Game with Spartak Moscow. I returned home, and at 4:00 am, my wife and I were awakened from the first tremor.
“It was scary and my heart was pounding. We checked the kids and luckily they slept through the night. Two days later there was a big earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2. It was very stressful.”
Lovren is enjoying adapting to life in Russia, although he has noticed a difference in approach that he believes would need to be fixed if Zenit competed in the English Premier League.
“Zenit’s problem isn’t the quality of the players at the club, it’s their attitude towards the game,” he warned.
“You can’t relax, you have to be ready to fight in every game. As soon as you relax you will be punished immediately.
“If our players were ready to fight in every game, we would have a good chance of ending up in midfield.” [in the Premier League].
“I’ll tell you a brief story. In 2017, on the first day of pre-season training with Liverpool, an 18-year-old – I won’t name him – came to practice in a Mercedes with a gold Rolex on his wrist.
“The conversation between the player and [Liverpool boss Jurgen] Klopp said: “Which car did you come here in?”
“In a Mercedes.” “What’s that on your wrist?” “A Rolex.” “How many games have you played for the first team?” ‘None.’ “
Underscoring Klopp’s unwavering management, Lovren joked that the boy returned with two gold watches before adding, “The next day he arrived and with no watch [in] a normal car. “
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