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06th Jul 2018

Thibaut Courtois sends message to Jordan Pickford after victory over Brazil

"I would never mock the height of a goalkeeper."

Darragh Murphy

Thibaut Courtois has attempted to put his bizarre feud with Jordan Pickford to rest.

Courtois poured salt in Pickford’s wounds following Belgium’s Group G victory over England last Thursday by apparently criticising Pickford for the technique he employed when flailing for Adnan Januzaj’s curling effort from the edge of the box.

“The goalkeeper is 10cm smaller than me,” Courtois said. “I would have caught it.

“He was too busy throwing his legs in the air.”

Pickford has since gone on to prove his worth with one of the best saves of the World Cup in England’s Round of 16 win over Colombia before then saving Carlos Bacca’s penalty in the shootout to send England into the quarter-finals.

The Everton stopper responded to Courtois after the Colombia game by saying: “I’ve got power and agility so I don’t care if I’m not the biggest keeper but I’ve got the power and agility to help us get around the goal and I’m very good at it. It’s about making the save and being in the moment.”

With Belgium through to the semi-finals and England facing Sweden in their quarter-final on Saturday, it remains entirely possible that a rematch between first and second in Group G will be on the cards in the Luzhniki Stadium on July 15.

And Courtois has moved to put an end to his rift with England’s No 1 by sending him a message after his side upset tournament favourites Brazil on Friday evening.

“This thing about Jordan – I want to say and clarify it because I heard a lot of stuff,” Courtois told BBC Sport.

“I never mocked his height, I want to make that clear, because I would never mock the height of a goalkeeper. I think he is a great goalkeeper. He proved that this year.

“I only said that, because he got a touch, I would have saved it because I am 15 centimetres taller, but I never mocked his height. He is a great goalkeeper. I want to make that clear.”